So, I sort of let this review linger in the “unfinished” post pile a little too long, given how hard I came down on the previous book in the series, Lirael. I read this not long afterwards, and honestly was so amazed at how much better it was than its predecessor – and how much better it made its predecessor retroactively, that I sort of struggled to put it into words. And so I put off writing this review for a while.
And then I just kind of forgot about it.
But I finally got the other Old Kingdom books, and so I better get my shit together and get this posted before I start reading the next.
So remember how I found much of the first two thirds of Lirael to be a massive bore? Yea, I’m not as upset over that as I was when I originally finished the book. Because Abhorsen? Abhorsen made it all both necessary, and 100% worth it. It was a thrilling race to the oh-so-satisfying end that kept me glued to the page. I sped through it in only about a day, and honestly I just don’t have enough good to say about it. Both Lirael and Sam grow so much, and really come into their own. And as they develop as characters, all the wallowing and whinging from the second book suddenly clicks into place as being exactly what needed to happen. It altered my perception of Lirael (the book, not the character) so significantly that I’m actually very much regretting writing that review before finishing the trilogy.
There’s really not much I have to complain about in this book, to be honest. And I can ALWAYS find something to complain about. Without indulging in spoilers, I can’t get too specific, but the ending brings all the characters you love, both old and new, together in one of the most satisfying wrap-ups for a series that I’ve ever experienced, while still leaving the door open for possible sequels. It’s all just really… satisfying.
And so overall, I loved this book. And at some point in the future I’m actually probably going to re-read this trilogy, which is high praise, since I’ve not even reread the Harry Potter series in it’s entirety before*. And even higher praise considering what a drag I found the second book to be originally. But now, I’m actually kind of excited to read it again with new eyes.
So job well done.
TL;DR Summary: Loved it. Made everything that was even mildly “meh” about the prior two books totally worth it in the end.
Overall rating: 5/5
Would recommend to: Anyone (read the first two books first for sure though.)