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Amuscaria

Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
Freelance manga and mecha artist.
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DISCLAIMER: If you have not read the Old Kingdom series, or have not read the latest book in the series, be aware there will be potential spoilers ahead. Proceed at your own discretion.

After around 10 years of waiting, Garth Nix has finally finished the 4th novel in his Old Kingdom series. I've eagerly waited for this book, as it's been delayed a few times. But I preordered it last month and got it a day after it was released. I first read Sabriel, the first book in the series, when I was in 7th grade. I really hated reading novels then (and for the most part, still do), but Sabriel got me hooked when it picked up (and it picked up quickly) with his high fantasy world of Free-magic and Necromancy. Up to that point, it was the most detailed fantasy world I've ever read about, and still remains high up there to this day. Liking the first book so much, I go Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr and Abhorsen when they were released. Every book was better than the one before, and even the short snippet in Across the Wall was enjoyable. Having such great expectations, I was expecting Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen to be equally epic.

(SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!!!!)
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(SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!!!!)

But I have to honestly say, my expectations of epicness were not met. It's probably due to several reasons. For one, I'm a lot older now, and my expectations of sophisticated plots are higher. And having experience many other great stories since, my bar was set much higher. Secondly, being the latest work of such a wonderful series, I think there is a sort of person and internal 'hype' before I got the book. It is not to say that Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen is a bad story, it really isn't. On it's own, and without having read the previous novels, it's still very enjoyable. I But having read the previous 3, this latest one just didn't stack up.

I won't spoil any of the plot or settings for you, so I'll leave those out. But what mostly disappointed me was the characters, especially the main protagonist, Clariel. I found her to be really whiny and indecisive, which was a 180 from the previous 2 female protagonists. Her random bursts of anger (although explained) in the story, also made her more childish than I was hoping. The side characters were not all that interesting either, compared to the first two. And the biggest disappointment of all, for the side characters, was the lack of a witty animal sidekick, like Mogget or the Disreputable Dog - well until the 1/4 of the story, anyway.

The pacing of the story was also very different. Instead of leading up to an main event thru gradual plot revealings, the first 3/4 of the book was generally blan with Clariel's everyday-life rather than the development of a plot. Where were plot elements being revealed from time to time, but I felt they were far and few. And then, a giant conflict erupts and the story kicks in at the last 1/4 of the story.

Finally, the fanciful world of the Old Kingdom was not really mentioned as intricately as the previous books. I don't mean that the author was not detailed, and by all means he was. But there weren't any fantastical aspects to most of the places in the story. And for a book about the Old Kingdom and Abhorsens, there were no Abhorsens, undead, or free-magic creatures for almost 3/4 of the book aside from a few mentions. This was, of course part of the setting where the "old ways" of Charter Magic and undead/free-magic was a thing of the past by the time the story took place. But still, I was yearning for more fantasy locations and lore, and Clariel didn't have much of that - again, not until the last 1/4 of the story. :P

I think I was really expecting the book to have a different story. I was expecting it to reveal how Clariel became [spoiler] Clorr of the Mask, the free-magic undead wielding necromancer from Abhorsen [/spoiler]. There was no fall from grace, and its only mentioned at the end that 'Clariel was indeed Clorr of the Mask', and that was it. Maybe a future book will expand on this - one can certainly hope. The pacing was a bit lackluster, and I felt the book appeared somewhat repetitive with the dialogue choice. Still, the book was enjoyable, and a worthwhile addition to the series; but certainly had it's disappointments. If you're planning on starting the series, I certainly recommend it.
  • Mood: Joy
  • Listening to: Smooth Jazz
  • Playing: none.

Agree/Disagree: It is impossible for someone to imagine a character more mentally sophisticated/complex than one's self. Thus you can gage an author's complexity by the most sophisticated/complex character he/she can come up with. 

39%
47 deviants said Agree/Disagree partially (either the premise or conclusion)
30%
36 deviants said Disagree wholely (both premise and conclusion are wrong)
19%
23 deviants said Not sure (needs thinking about)
12%
15 deviants said Agree wholely (both premise and conclusion are true)

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:iconeric-abillama:
Eric-Abillama Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
wait.
waitwaitwaitwait.

YOU put ME on deviantwatch?!

oh my =')
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:iconamuscaria:
Amuscaria Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
:)
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:iconeric-abillama:
Eric-Abillama Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
there's something you want to see more in my DA? =D
suggestions/criticism are always welcome =3
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:iconamuscaria:
Amuscaria Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Pr0nz :D
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(1 Reply)
:iconeric-abillama:
Eric-Abillama Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Reply
:iconpumpkinsareholy:
pumpkinsareholy Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2014
Going to be doing some Dark Ages work tonight with my box of magic, hope to talk to u and forti later. feel like doing some mixed media and downing part of a bottle of rum.
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:iconamuscaria:
Amuscaria Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
might be up for it. If im not too tired. Didnt sleep at all last night. :(
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:iconleodin96:
Leodin96 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I've got a challenge for you.

My friend and I wrote a crossover in Fanfiction called Swords of Heaven.

I was wondering if you could draw the Gundams featured in this together.

Message me if you want to know and a list of the Gundams.
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:iconamuscaria:
Amuscaria Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Don't really have the time for mecha requests, sorry.
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:iconleodin96:
Leodin96 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
It's alright, I understand
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