Now this one was a slow read.
Not because I didn't enjoy it, just because... I'm not sure why. It took forever. Or a week, one or the other. It's not a quick book even if you're a fast reader because it's so big but I liked it.
I liked Lirael more.
Not that that says much. Lirael is a book I love for lots of reasons, not least because it got me through a hard year at one point. I was pleased to have Clariel's story and all the little details made it better. But I didn't like it as much. I liked it better than Abhorsen though, but then the ends of series were all a bit wobbly for me. I may attempt a reread and see how that goes. But for now I have a towering TBR and more books on the way!
It's a prequel but it's a tricky sort of prequel... I won't go into the plot because of that but I will say two things.
A) As someone who is homesick a lot (without any reason but that's another story for another time) this book truly captured the feeling of homesickness to me. The longing and thoughts and oh, just everything. It reminded me of how I feel and I connected with Clariel over that. I know some people had problems with her, saying she's (POSSIBLE SPOILERS) selfish and 'nobody cares, get over it' (SPOILERS DONE) But I feel like that's what homesickness does to you. It does make you a more... that kind of person.
B) I got spoilered for this book by accident and it made me go 'Wait, WHAT?!'
If you've read his other books or you fancy trying them I'd say this book is a good one to get deeper into the world. The mythology and history of The Old Kingdom is really interesting... but I'd suggest reading the original series first. There's a little less action in this one, Sabriel is a more welcoming introduction to the world. So although it's a prequel it's handier as a companion to the series.
I'm looking forwards to the next book, whenever it happens!