Broadside No.1 – Garth Nix

Ahoy there me mateys!  Welcome to the first broadside – the Garth Nix edition.  Some of ye may remember that I like exploring the works of sci-fi, fantasy and young adult writers that are non-American.  Mr. Nix is from Australia and he is awesome.

I have read over 20 of his novels at this point and am greedy for more.  Among his various books I do have some favorites:

  1. the Abhorsen / Old Kingdom Series

This was the fantasy series that began me obsession with all books Garth Nix.  I started with the book Sabriel.  Sabriel is a kickass woman who fights the dead with her saber and her bandolier of magical bells.  But this brief description does not do the book justice at all.  The worldbuilding is rich, unique and glorious.  No matter how many times I read this series, I am in awe of Mr. Nix’s storytelling.  I mean these books have paperwings!  Do you ever know what a paperwing is?  It also has charter magic, sendings, a mogget, and more.  And while the first book is splendid, the subsequent books just keep getting better.  I really cannot do this series justice.  Read them for yourself.

Fantastic Fiction has this to say about the series:

Game of Thrones fans will love the New York Times bestselling Abhorsen series. Sabriel, the first installment in the series, launched critically acclaimed author Garth Nix onto the fantasy scene as a rising star. This collection gathers all four titles in the popular series, including the long-awaited prequel, Clariel.

Sabriel: Since childhood, Sabriel has lived outside the walls of the Old Kingdom, away from the power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead who refuse to stay dead. But now her father, the Abhorsen, is missing, and Sabriel must cross into that world to find him. There she confronts an evil that threatens much more than her life and comes face-to-face with her own hidden destiny. . . .

Lirael: Lirael has never felt like a true daughter of the Clayr. 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 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.

Abhorsen: The Abhorsen Sabriel and King Touchstone are missing, leaving only Lirael – newly come into her inheritance as the Abhorsen-in-Waiting – to stop the Destroyer. With only a vision from the Clayr to guide her, Lirael must search in both Life and Death for some means to defeat the evil destructor – before it is too late. . . .

Clariel: Clariel is the daughter of one of the most notable families in the Old Kingdom, with blood relations to the Abhorsen and, most important, to the King. She dreams of living a simple life but discovers this is hard to achieve when a dangerous creature is loose in the city and there is a plot brewing against the King. When Clariel is drawn into the efforts to find and capture the creature, she finds hidden sorcery within herself, yet it is magic that carries great dangers.

  1. a confusion of princes

This is a young adult science fiction novel that is currently a stand-alone.  Khemri is a super cool main character and this novel is full of twists and fun.  It also showcases the wonderful world building of Mr. Nix.  The ending is fabulous.  And, as usual, the plot description does not even begin to describe the complexity and wonderfulness.  The ending was brilliant and made me super happy.

The author’s website says this about the novel:

Superhuman. Immortal. Prince in a Galactic Empire. There has to be a catch…

Khemri learns the minute he becomes a Prince that princes need to be hard to kill—for they are always in danger. Their greatest threat? Other Princes. Every Prince wants to become Emperor and the surest way to do so is to kill, dishonor, or sideline any potential competitor. There are rules, but as Khemri discovers, rules can be bent and even broken.

There are also mysteries. Khemri is drawn into the hidden workings of the Empire and is dispatched on a secret mission. In the ruins of space battle, he meets a young woman, called Raine, who challenges his view of the Empire, of Princes, and of himself. But Khemri is a Prince, and even if he wanted to leave the Empire behind, there are forces there that have very definite plans for his future.

and

  1. newt’s emerald

This fantasy romance book is like Jane Austen with magic.  It rocks.  I loved the main character Newt.  This novel is fluffy and not as complex as some of Mr. Nix’s other novels.  But fun and wonderful and silly.  While currently a stand-alone, I would love to see more.

The author’s website says this about the novel:

In Newt’s Emerald, the bestselling author of Sabriel, Garth Nix, takes a waggish approach to the forever popular Regency romance and presents a charmed world where everyone has something to hide.

On her eighteenth birthday, Lady Truthful, nicknamed “Newt,” will inherit her family’s treasure: the Newington Emerald. A dazzling heart-shaped gem, the Emerald also bestows its wearer with magical powers.

When the Emerald disappears one stormy night, Newt sets off to recover it. Her plan entails dressing up as a man, mustache included, as no well-bred young lady should be seen out and about on her own. While in disguise, Newt encounters the handsome but shrewd Major Harnett, who volunteers to help find the missing Emerald under the assumption that she is a man. Once she and her unsuspecting ally are caught up in a dangerous adventure that includes an evil sorceress, Newt realizes that something else is afoot: the beating of her heart.

So that is me introduction to Garth Nix.  If you haven’t read any of his novels I would suggest ye hoist those sails and get moving!

To visit his website visit:

Garth Nix – Author

To see a complete list of all books he has written visit:

Garth Nix – Books

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