This gothic, witchy YA would make a perfect autumnal read!
This book has only recently arrived, but that’s how the numbers shake out sometimes – it’s #293, Terciel and Elinor by Garth Nix!
A thrilling, atmospheric dive into the history of the Abhorsen, featuring Sabriel’s parents, Terciel and Elinor.
In the Old Kingdom, a land of ancient and often terrible magics, eighteen year-old orphan Terciel is learning the art of necromancy – but not to raise the Dead, rather to lay them to rest. He is the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, the latest in a long line of people whose task it is to make sure the Dead do not return to Life.
Across the Wall in Ancelstierre, a steam-age country where magic usually does not work, nineteen year-old Elinor lives a secluded life, her only friends an old governess and an even older groom who was once a famous circus performer. Her mother is a tyrant, feared by all despite her sickness and impending death . . .
Elinor does not know she is deeply connected to the Old Kingdom, until a plot by an ancient enemy of the Abhorsens brings Terciel to Ancelstierre. In a single day of fire and death and loss, Elinor finds herself set on a path which will take her into the Old Kingdom, into Terciel’s life, and will embroil her in the struggle of the Abhorsens against the Dead who will not stay dead.
I fell in love with Sabriel and its sequels when I was younger, with their mix of magic, horror, adventure, and practical young women getting stuff done, so I was delighted when this popped through my letterbox unexpectedly from Hot Key Books! I actually missed reading Goldenhand, the most recently published book before this one, but as Terciel and Elinor is set well before everything that’s happened so far, I think I should be okay to start this soon, and I’m really looking forward to returning to the Old Kingdom world. Hopefully it will capture the magic that enthralled me as a kid!
Is this on your TBR, or have you read it? I’d love to see your reviews!
I first read Thorn in 2018, as a self-published novel, and I loved its smart, wry, thought-provoking take on one of my favourite fairy tales, The Goose Girl. When I heard it was being reworked for traditional publishing, I was thrilled, and I’m so happy to be able to tell you it’s even better in this form!
Okay, so this ticks two of my major reading boxes – Regency romance with magic, and Garth Nix! I’ve been a fan since Sabriel, so this was a must-read for me, and it more than lived up to my expectations!
I got a glimpse of this book from Hot Key last year, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting my chance to read the full thing ever since!
I love a good retelling, and I’m a real softie for one that tries to rehabilitate traditional villains. Add that to my interest in the Ugly Sisters (my thesis topic looked at their history from Cupid and Psyche onwards!), and I really couldn’t resist Stepsister…