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Why you will like Lirael

I’ve noticed that most blogs have a few books or series that they talk about constantly, no matter how obscure the book might be. For Virtually Read, one of those series is The Old Kingdom Chronicles by Garth Nix, but until recently, they were Shanti’s fandom. Once she spent a whole week blogging only about Garth Nix. She fangirls about them all the time. But I gave this series a second chance, and I’m so glad I did. This is the second Old Kingdom book, and here is a list of reasons to love it.


Reasons you will like Lirael

  • The Disreputable Dog. Everybody loves a good animal sidekick, right? This strangely magical, loveable, and very practical Dog is one of the best animal sidekicks ever. She’s very sarcastic and helpful and talks and is just the best.
  • The Great Library of the Clayr As fictional libraries go, this only comes second to the Great Library of Zosma in Strange the Dreamer, but is a more important setting than the library in that book is. It’s huge and full of mysterious rooms and dangerous creatures and strange situations. I loved how the setting of the library (and the Clayr’s glacier in general) was so well built.
  • Lirael shows you don’t have to be talkative to be strong There’s so many outgoing heroes? But Lirael literally talks to as few people as possible, hides behind her hair at the slightest sign of attention, and writes notes instead of talking. But she’s still a very powerful and courageous charter mage, and totally a strong and shy heroine. She’s bookish and strong.
  • Your sister won’t spoil it for you Well, I hope that she won’t if you have one. Shanti revealed a very spoilery piece of information that comes at the end of lirael once when trying to persuade me to read them, and I somehow remembered ever since. So if you read it, you can be happy that this doesn’t happen to you.
  • Fantasy can still confront real-life issues I’m pretty sure this isn’t a big spoiler, but the issue of refugees and what to do with them is very relevant both to Australia (in 2001 and now) and Ancelstierre. (I don’t know if I’m spelling that right. It was an audiobook. But that spelling looks right)
  • Teenage angsty princes They’re a little spoiled but ultimately mean well, plus are really angsty. Much angst. Much lack of communication.
  • Magical boats I tried sailing this summer, and it was interesting but required a lot of knowledge. Now I just want a sailboat that can practically steer itself, doesn’t need any help tacking, and listens when you say you want to dock.
  • Amazing magical tools Pan pipes, mosquito-catching frogs, clockwork mice that scurry around, miniature bells. The magic system is soooo fun.
  • Creepiness, but the right level I often can’t handle too much creepiness in books. But even all these creepy dead creatures and strange magic somehow just fitted the aesthetic and didn’t scare me.


Lirael is a jolly good book, and I don’t mind that The Old Kingdom Chronicles are becoming a Virtually Read ‘thing’. If you don’t read them, its your fault.

Plot: 4/5

Characters: 4/5

Setting: 5/5

Themes: 4/5

Writing: 5/5

Total: 5/5

What’s one series you won’t shut up about? Do your siblings/people in your life read too? What’s one thing you’ve been recommended but haven’t got a round to reading? What do you do when you get spoiled? 

11 thoughts on “Why you will like Lirael

  1. “Your sister won’t spoil it for you” Yeah, that’s true xD


    My siblings read. My sister, not so much but she likes the Geek Girl series and the Lara Jean series, so that’s okay.

    That book seems pretty interesting. And I like the cover as well! I hope to get to it soon.


  2. I find that the ones I won’t shut up about vary. Like, for a while, it was Hamilton, it’s been PJO and Lunar Chronicles… kinda The Greatest Showman at this point… yeah. But I guess my all-time fandom, that I will always come back to, is Star Wars: books and movies. Yeah. That one’s mine forever. ❤

    And this books sounds so good! I love your descriptions of the magic system (MOSQUITO-CATCHING FROGS. COULD TOTALLY USE ONE) and of Lirael! I love the idea of a quiet, bookish girl as the main heroine! I'll have to try and find this one!



  3. I think Lirael was my favorite of the trilogy back when I first read it!
    I (obviously) don’t shut up about Robin Hobb’s books. My parents are both huge readers, as were most of my friends growing up. That changed in college – most of the people I was friends with had been readers, but few people seem to read for fun regularly in college. Have you noticed that?
    Now most of my friends are either my old friends who are bookworms who rarely read or new friends who I met because of their love of books.


    1. Yes, hardly anyone I know at my university reads for fun! It’s so sad. When people see me reading, they’re like’ I used to read lots when I was a kid but not anymore’ and it’s pretty depressing tbh.


      1. There must be something wrong with a university system that stops people reading. Or would it have happened anyway? Food for thought.


      2. People were always under a lot of pressure to both party (live life to its so-called fullest) and cram into all hours of the nights. That lifestyle doesn’t leave much time for reading, especially since it’s typically a solitary activity.


  4. Oohhh once my sister spoiled a book for me because I wasn’t reading it fast enough. :O I mean. Least to say I no longer have that sister. (JK JK SHE’S FINE JUST A LITTLE DAMAGED.) 😂 And actually I already know I have to read this series before Shanti smacks me with a hammer, but the fact that Lirel hides behind her hair instead of talks to people!?!? ME. I relate so much I want to read these like yesterday. Where are my priorities.


    1. SISTERS ARE THE WORST FOR SPOILING BOOKS UGH. Like, they don’t fear our ire enough tbh. Your priorities are clearly missing and you really really really need to read this pls.


  5. I need to read this series! So many people have recommended it to me and for some reason I’ve just never got round to actually starting it… I even got Sabriel out from the library at one point and then returned it without having opened it. I will read this series though and then we can all fangirl together!


    1. YESS WE NEED TO DO THIS!! There are so many good books out there I want to read, I know there’s some of your faves that I really should get around to ❤ ❤


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