Cover image for Lirael, daughter of the Clayr
Lirael, daughter of the Clayr
Nix, Garth.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, [2001]

Physical Description:
[487] pages ; [24] cm
When a dangerous necromancer threatens to unleash a long-buried evil, Lirael and Prince Sameth are drawn into a battle to save the Old Kingdom and reveal their true destinies.
Reading Level:
950 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 7.1 23.0 49645.

Reading Counts RC High School 7.5 28 Quiz: 24933 Guided reading level: NR.


Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Mass Market Paperback Popular Materials-Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



New York Times bestseller Lirael is perfect for fans of epic fantasy like Game of Thrones. In this sequel to the critically acclaimed Sabriel, Garth Nix draws readers deeper into the magical landscape of the Old Kingdom.

Lirael has never felt like a true daughter of the Clayr. Abandoned by her mother, ignorant of her father's identity, Lirael resembles no one else in her large extended family living in the Clayr's glacier. She doesn't even have the Sight--the ability to see into possible futures--that is the very birthright of the Clayr. Nevertheless she must undertake a desperate mission under the growing shadow of an ancient evil--one that opposes the Royal Family, blocks the Sight of the Clayr, and threatens to break the very boundary between Life and Death itself. With only her faithful companion, the Disreputable Dog, to help her, Lirael must find the courage to seek her own hidden destiny.

Don't miss Garth Nix's prequel to the Old Kingdom series, Clariel, and Goldenhand, the fifth book in the Old Kingdom series.

Author Notes

Garth Nix was born in Melbourne, Australia on July 19, 1963. He graduated from the University of Canberra in 1986 and worked various jobs within the publishing industry until 1994. After a stint in public relations, he returned to books and took up writing as a career. He is the author of Blood Ties, Clariel, Newt's Emerald, the Old Kingdom series, The Seventh Tower series, and The Keys to the Kingdom series. In 1999, he received a Golden Duck Award for Australian Contribution to Children's Science Fiction. To Hold the Bridge was named Best Collection by the 2015 Aurealis Awards. His novella, By Frogsled and Lizardback to Outcast Venusian Lepers, was named Best Science Fiction Novella by the 2015 Aurealis Awards. In 2018, he won the 2017 Aurealis Award for the Best science-fiction short story.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

In Nix's sequel to Sabriel, readers return to the entrancing and complicated Old Kingdom: a world of necromancy, seers, dangerous monsters and talking animals (the cat Mogget is back). The relationships between the Kingdom's various realms and the magic may take some unraveling for readers new to the series, but the heroine's plight will be instantly compelling. Lirael is the only one of a community of clairvoyant women not to be gifted with "the Sight," and the mystery of her parentage contributes to her alienation. Just after her 14th birthday, Lirael releases a Stilken (half-woman, half-crustacean) from a glass-covered coffin. Her act leads to a meeting with a healer (Lirael's great-great-grandmother) who fortifies her and urges her to take as her only friend the impertinent "Disreputable Dog," a creature of suspicious magical origin whose true nature remains unknown. The overall plot may follow the expected course an evil magician threatens the well-being of the Old Kingdom and Lirael finds her destiny linked with that of handsome, nervous Prince Sameth (son of Sabriel) but startling subplots abound and keep the pages turning. The book ends on a cliffhanger, and Nix leaves nearly every major question unanswered. The evil is still at large, the Disreputable Dog still unexplained and Lirael's mother's desertion of her unresolved. Readers hoping for a satisfying ending will have to wait for the third in the series, to be titled Abhorsen, and tentatively scheduled for fall 2002. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

Gr. 7^-12. Years have passed since the events in Sabriel (1996). The Old Kingdom is again under threat, this time from a sinister necromancer bent on freeing an ancient, incredibly evil being. Lirael, a daughter of the Clayr, despairs of ever gaining the gift of Sight that will mark her as an adult. Even so, she finds the fate of the kingdom in her hands and in those of Sameth, teenage son of the Abhorsen Sabriel and King Touchstone. With the help of the Disreputable Dog and Mogget, an elemental bound in the body of a cat that serves the Abhorsen, Lirael and Sameth wage a deadly war to stop the evil forces. There is some contrivance in the story, but the characterizations are appealing, and Nix not only maintains the intricate world he created for the earlier book but also continues the frenetic pace of the action and the level of violence. The cliffhanger ending sets readers up for a third book, to be called Abhorsen. --Sally Estes

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-Lirael may be a Daughter of the Clayr (HarperCollins 2001), but her dark eyes and inability to see into the future make her an outsider among her kinswomen. Abandoned by her mother and increasingly frustrated as younger girls are called to join the Nine Hour Watch, the mature teen finds comfort in her work as an assistant librarian. Her only friend is a magical creature called the Disreputable Dog. This is Australian Garth Nix's sequel to Sabriel (HarperCollins, 1996), and it is also set in the Old Kingdom where the forces of Charter Magic battle the death and decay done by necromancers. In story segments, parallel to Lirael's tale, listeners will find Sabriel's son, Prince Sameth, trying to find his place in the world. Though 17-year-old Sameth is expected to succeed his mother as Abhorsen, he is uncertain about his ability to fight the dead and protect the kingdom. Most of the book focuses on their individual struggles until destiny brings them together, and they join forces to reach safety. A cliffhanger ending points to the next book in the series. Tony nominee Tim Curry is a skillful narrator, especially effective at capturing the veiled humor of the talking animal characters. The case is sturdy, the cassettes are well-marked, and the chapter locations are helpfully listed. While blood and gore crop up regularly in this story, so do family love and youthful courage. Fantasy remains a popular genre, and Lirael is part of a series that will appeal to young adults.-Barbara S. Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Lirael Daughter of the Clayr Chapter One An Ill-favored Birthday Deep within a dream, Lirael felt someone stroking her forehead. A gentle, soft touch, a cool hand upon her own fevered skin. She felt herself smile, enjoying the touch. Then the dream shifted, and her forehead wrinkled. The touch was no longer soft and loving, but rough and rasping. No longer cool, but hot, burning her -- She woke up. It took her a second to realize that she'd clawed the sheet away and had been lying facedown on the coarsely woven mattress cover. It was wool and very scratchy. Her pillow lay on the floor. The pillowcase had been torn off in the course of some nightmare and now hung from her chair. Lirael looked around the small chamber, but there were no signs of any other nocturnal damage. Her simple wardrobe of dressed pine was upright, the dull steel latch still closed. The desk and chair still occupied the other corner. Her practice sword hung in its scabbard on the back of the door. It must have been a relatively good night. Sometimes, in her nightmare-laced sleep, Lirael walked, talked, and wreaked havoc. But always only in her room. Her precious room. She couldn't bear to think what life would be like if she were forced to go back to family chambers. She closed her eyes again and listened. All was silent, which meant that it must be long before the Waking Bell. The bell sounded at the same time every day, calling the Clayr out of their beds to join the new day. Lirael scrunched her eyes together more tightly and tried to go back to sleep. She wanted to regain the feel of that hand on her brow. That touch was the only thing she remembered of her mother. Not her face or her voice -- just the touch of her cool hand. She needed that touch desperately today. But Lirael's mother was long gone, taking the secret of Lirael's paternity with her. She had left when Lirael was five, without a word, without an explanation. There never was any explanation. just the news of her death, a garbled message from the distant North that had arrived three days before Lirael's tenth birthday. Once she had thought of that, there was no hope for sleep. As on every other morning, Lirael gave up trying to keep her eyes shut. She let them spring open and stared up at the ceiling for a few minutes. But the stone had not changed overnight. It was still grey and cold, with tiny flecks of pink. A Charter mark for light glowed there too, warm and golden in the stone. It had shone brighter when Lirael had first awoken and grew brighter still as she swung her feet out and felt around with her toes for her half-shoes. The Clayr's halls were heated by the steam of hot springs and by magic, but the stone floor was always cold. "Fourteen today," whispered Lirael. She had her half-shoes on, but made no move to rise. Ever since the message of her mother's death had come so close to her tenth birthday, all her birthdays had been harbingers of doom. "Fourteen!" Lirael said again, the word laced with anguish. She was fourteen, and by the measure of the world outside the Clayr's Glacier, a woman. But here she must still wear the blue tunic of a child, for the Clayr marked the passage to adulthood not by age, but by the gift of the Sight. Once again, Lirael closed her eyes, screwing them tight as she willed herself to See the future. Everyone else her age had the Sight. Many younger children already wore the white robe and the circlet of moonstones. It was unheard of not to have the Sight by fourteen. Lirael opened her eyes, but she saw no vision. just her simple room, slightly blurred by tears. She rubbed them away and got up. "No mother, no father, no Sight," she said as she opened her wardrobe and took out a towel. It was a familiar litany. She said it often, though it always made her feel a terrible stab of sorrow in her stomach. It was like worrying a toothache with her tongue. It hurt, but she couldn't leave it alone. The wound was part of her now. But perhaps soon, one day she would be summoned by the Voice of the Nine Day Watch. Then she would wake and say, "No mother, no father, but I have the Sight." "I will have the Sight," Lirael muttered to herself as she eased open the door and tiptoed down the corridor to the baths. Charter marks brightened as she passed under them, bringing day from twilight. But all the other doors in the Hall of Youth remained shut. Once, Lirael would have knocked on them, laughing and calling the other orphans who lived there to an early bath. But that was years ago. Before they had all gained the Sight. That was also when Merell was Guardian of the Young, one who had governed her charges with a light hand. Lirael's own aunt Kirrith was Guardian now. If there was any noise, she would emerge from her room in her maroon-and-white-striped bathrobe, to order silence and respect for sleeping elders. She would make no special allowance for Lirael, either. Quite the reverse. Kirrith was the exact opposite of Lirael's mother, Arielle. She was all for rules and regulations, tradition and conformity. Kirrith would never leave the Glacier to travel who knew where, only to return seven months gone with child. Lirael scowled at Kirrith's door. Not that Kirrith had ever told her that. Kirrith wouldn't talk about her younger sister. The little Lirael knew about her mother came from eavesdropping on her closer cousins" conversations. The ones during which they discussed what to do about a girl who so obviously didn't belong. Lirael Daughter of the Clayr . Copyright © by Garth Nix. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Lirael, Daughter of the Clayr by Garth Nix All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Prologuep. 1
Part 1

p. 9

1. An Ill-Favored Birthdayp. 11
2. A Future Lostp. 22
3. Paperwingsp. 32
4. A Glint in the Snowp. 41
5. An Unexpected Opportunityp. 49
6. Third Assistant Librarianp. 57
7. Beyond the Doors of Sun and Moonp. 67
8. Down the Fifth Back Stairp. 77
9. Creatures by Nagyp. 85
10. Dog Dayp. 95
11. Search for a Suitable Swordp. 102
12. Into the Lair of the Chief Librarianp. 110
13. Of Stilken and Strange Magicp. 119
Part 2

p. 131

14. Prince Sameth Hits a Sixp. 133
15. The Dead Are Manyp. 144
16. Into Deathp. 153
17. Nicholas and the Necromancerp. 161
18. A Father's Healing Handp. 170
19. Ellimere's Thoughts on the Education of Princesp. 180
20. A Door of Three Signsp. 190
21. Beyond the Doors of Wood and Stonep. 202
22. Power of Threep. 218
23. A Troublesome Seasonp. 226
24. Cold Water, Old Stonep. 242
25. A Family Conferencep. 253
26. A Letter from Nicholasp. 262
27. Sam Makes Up His Mindp. 270
28. Sam the Travelerp. 277
29. The Observatory of the Clayrp. 288
30. Nicholas and the Pitp. 302
31. A Voice in the Treesp. 313
32. "When the Dead Do Walk, Seek Water's Run"p. 328
33. Flight to the Riverp. 344
Part 3

p. 359

34. Finderp. 361
35. Remembrancerp. 370
36. A Denizen of Deathp. 381
37. A Bath in the Riverp. 391
38. The Book of the Deadp. 401
39. High Bridgep. 411
40. Under the Bridgep. 422
41. Free Magic and the Flesh of Swinep. 431
42. Southerlings and a Necromancerp. 442
43. Farewell to Finderp. 457
44. Abhorsen's Housep. 470
Epiloguep. 481