I love Garth Nix. I read Sabriel (at my maths teachers recommendation) when I was twelve, and then a year later I discovered that there were more books set in the Old Kingdom. And then I heard about Clariel (You can read my review and general fangirling here). I’ve read some of his other books, but the Old Kingdom is above and beyond in claiming a spot as one of my favourite books ever. So, for no good reason, this week is Garth Nix appreciation week and my friend Anna, who fangirls with me on all sorts of subjects is kicking it off with a post about why to read Garth Nix. If you want to do a Garth Nix appreciation post, take the picture and link back here. I would love to hear some of your opinions!
Eight reasons why Garth Nix – mostly the Old Kingdom series – is amazing.
1) His characters are all beautiful.
Lirael struggles with not having the sight. Sam is scared of Death (with a capital D, notice). Nicholas is a complete moron. Yet all of them, particularly Sabriel, all manage to come across as brave and wonderful, and entirely believable. Apart from, you know, the whole going-into-Death-and-getting-rid-
of-dead-people thing. I also love how sarcastic and dry Mogget is, and the Disreputable Dog is such a beautiful character and friend to Lirael.
2) His world-building is flawless.
Although I struggled with pronunciation (Ansel-stir? Ansel-steer? Ansel-stair?), I liked the way his countries and cities just blend into typical conversations and the reader isn’t super confused (*cough* Lord of the Rings *cough*). Also how they all had an aesthetic, politics and culture was really well done, as well as the contrast between the different sides of the Wall.
3) His books appeal to a lot more readers than some YA novels.
Although it is about a teenage girl, there are a lot of adult themes in there that make his books a lot less exclusive (I’m misquoting the librarian here. Sorry Ms Small). Also it appeals to boys, who tendto be really picky when it comes to what they read (in general). Editors note: It is SO hard to make boys read.
4) His dialogue is gorgeous
“He growled and grimaced as they came to him, and clenched his fists in pain and anger.
“Unusual name,” commented Mogget. “More of a bear’s name, that growl.” ”
Although Touchstone and Sabriel are adorable *squeak*, there isn’t any cheesy, mushy dialogue -their romance is subtle, and Just. So. Cute. The sarcasm and general rudeness of the characters was a plus, again teh dialogue was believable. As Phillip Pullman rightfully said on the cover “fantasy that reads like realism”. Editors note: you really did your homework, Anna.
5) When it gets dramatic, it gets really dramatic
I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’m just going to say: the end of Abhorsen…just…Editors note: I know. Yes I do. I KNOW!
6) He stays clear of predictability and cliches
There are no love triangles, stereotypes or deep and mysterious male figures. Unless you mean that literally[editors note: deep in the water, yes they are]. I guess you could say Garth Nix has it all figured out (badum tush). I couldn’t see any of the plot twists coming, and all the way through he consistantly left me begging for the next book.
7) His books contain very common themes, such as loss and love, as well as being who you are instead of who you’re meant to be (sorry about how cheesy that sounds). All of his characters suffer, and face throwbacks, but still they persist no matter what the consequences (cue the dramatic music).
8) Garth Nix is his real name.
I know right? He was born to write fantasy.
Editors note: If you don’t want to read Garth Nix after that, something is very wrong with the world. But if you don’t like it *cough* Shar *cough* that’s okay. We try to be non-judgemental here.