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Clariel Officially Due for Release – Cover Revealed

Garth Nix was one of the first fantasy authors I was lucky enough to stumble upon (way back in about 1999). The series, and one I ended up reading about 10 times over the years, was known in the UK as ‘The Old Kingdom’. It was made up of three books (Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen). The third book in that trilogy was released in 2003 and even as far back as 2005 I remember hearing that Garth Nix was working on a book that would revisit the world – Clariel – and serve as a kind of prequel to the series. Well, the years went by and each year the book was put back another year (Garth Nix continued writing successful stories set in other worlds, but there was no sign of my beloved Old Kingdom). Then, last year, I heard word that Garth had finished the book and it would be coming out in 2014. I was pleased, but I’d been told it would be out ‘next year’ every year periodically for the last decade – so didn’t set my hopes too high! However, a release date then popped up on Amazon.com (they’re never wrong, right?) and just this week a couple of covers were posted up online. So, now, I’m finally ready to believe it and, man, I can’t wait!

If you’ve read the original trilogy, I’ve no doubt you are as excited as I am about this release. Here is the confirmed US (and probably UK) cover that will match the original three:


Those who have read the series will know that although it certainly has ‘mass-appeal’, the book is technically a young-adult title. In today’s terms, the cover above may seem more like the kind of cover you’d find on an ‘adult’ book. So, to combat this, as well as the above cover, the original three are to be re-designed in Australia – by Sebastian Ciaffaglione – with a more ‘modern’ appearance that seems to match the current YA trend of covers (think Percy Jackson, for example) – in addition to the new Clariel cover getting a similar appearance too. You may also notice that they share a lot of similarities with the recently re-designed Mistborn covers (by a different author, Sam Weber) – which seemed to be stylised after The Hunger Games movies. Certainly, a good plan if trying to convince that audience to pick up books with similar themes. Here is Clariel in this style:


Oh, and here are the original three:


For those really taken by the covers, click here for some words by the artist as to the design process.

Official Blurb

Clariel is the daughter of the one of the most notable families in the Old Kingdom, with blood relations to the Abhorsen and, most importantly, to the King. When her family moves to the city of Belisaere, there are rumors that her mother is next in line for the throne. However, Clariel wants no part of it—a natural hunter, all she ever thinks about is escaping the city’s confining walls and journeying back to the quiet, green world of the Great Forest.

But many forces conspire against Clariel’s dream. A dangerous Free Magic creature is loose in the city, her parents want to marry her off to a killer, and there is a plot brewing against the old and withdrawn King Orrikan. When Clariel is drawn into the efforts to find and capture the creature, she discovers hidden sorcery within herself, yet it is magic that carries great dangers. Can she rise above the temptation of power, escape the unwanted marriage, and save the King?

Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen goes on sale October 14, 2014 in the US and around the same time in Aus & the UK too!



  1. Avatar Damien says:

    Its being a long time coming but I love the first three books. Do prefer the classic covers to the new ones thought!

  2. Avatar Karam says:

    While the saying demands that we don’t judge a book by its cover.I have to say excellent covers like this one make me want to read good books.Hopefully the books live up to my expectations as I’ve decided to read this series next.

  3. Don’t like those new covers. None of them feel like the stories inside. That cute little bell you have to look for is not my idea of Sabriel’s bells and the bandolier looks more like decoration than equipment. Still, good news that there will be another one. Pity my students who loved the series have moved on from my campus. 😉

  4. Avatar Lucy Hounsom says:

    So excited about this. But the old covers are better. Love the new ‘adult’ Clariel cover. Time for a reread.

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