Terciel & Elinor

Terciel & Elinor
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Release Date
November 02, 2021
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Bestselling novelist Garth Nix returns to the Old Kingdom for the never-before-told love story of Sabriel’s parents, Terciel and Elinor, and the charter magic that brought them together—and threatened to tear them apart. A long-awaited prequel to a classic fantasy series.
In the Old Kingdom, a land of ancient and often terrible magics, eighteen year-old orphan Terciel learns the art of necromancy from his great-aunt Tizanael. But not to raise the Dead, rather to lay them to rest. He is the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, and Tizanael is the Abhorsen, 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, who is feared by all despite her sickness and impending death . . . but perhaps there is even more to fear from that.

Elinor does not know she is deeply connected to the Old Kingdom, nor that magic can sometimes come across the Wall, until a plot by an ancient enemy of the Abhorsens brings Terciel and Tizanael 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.

*USA Today Bestseller*
“One of the greatest living fantasy writers. I will never get enough of the Old Kingdom.” —Sarah J. Maas, #1 New York Times bestselling author

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I read the Sabriel series by Garth Nix several years ago and enjoyed the world created. I was excited to return to the Old Kingdom with Terciel & Elinor and appreciated that it was a prequel so I was not confused by not rereading. It is described as a love story that conjures thoughts of how this story was going to go that ended up quite differently.
Elinor was raised in Ancelstierre where the truth of the mark on her forehead was kept hidden from her until Death Magic comes to her home in a tragic way. Thankfully, Terciel and the Abhorsen, Tizanael, saved her that day. I expected her to go with the pair back to the Old Kingdom to learn about charter magic and for a slow unfolding of events leading to a love realized to commence.
I am thankful to say that Elinor’s character took a different path and she was allowed to grow and develop friendships and knowledge about Charter Magic before death and destruction comes again to her life forcing her to make a hasty departure and embark on a new life in the Old Kingdom where her path with Terciel crosses again.
The Charter magic and the world described drive the events in the story making it easy to immerse yourself and follow along. Garth Nix is a masterful weaver of story magic so the idea of traveling into death and the magical trials they undergo to imprison a dangerous creature feeding off death are believable.
The attitudes of the people about relationships are different than expected. For a love story, I would have thought it would end in marriage so I was a bit surprised that they felt no obligation to even live together after they became committed to each other.
Overall, this is not quite a love story but it is a fantastic exploration into the world Garth Nix has created. It is full-bodied in the magical systems at work and drives the story to a believable conclusion. I highly recommend it for returning fans or new fans of this world.
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