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Synopsis from GoodreadsSixteen-year-old Clariel is not adjusting well to her new life in the city of Belisaere, the capital of the Old Kingdom. She misses roaming freely within the forests of Estwael, and she feels trapped within the stone city walls. And in Belisaere she is forced to follow the plans, plots and demands of everyone, from her parents to her maid, to the sinister Guildmaster Kilp. Clariel can see her freedom slipping away. It seems too that the city itself is descending into chaos, as the ancient rules binding Abhorsen, King and Clayr appear to be disintegrating.
With the discovery of a dangerous Free Magic creature loose in the city, Clariel is given the chance both to prove her worth and make her escape. But events spin rapidly out of control. Clariel finds herself more trapped than ever, until help comes from an unlikely source. But the help comes at a terrible cost. Clariel must question the motivations and secret hearts of everyone around her - and it is herself she must question most of all.
4 Star ReviewI was in two minds about picking up this book, I had loved Sabriel however not enjoyed the sequels to it. It has also been many, many years since I read these books. However I decided I would give Clariel a try since it was a prequel focused on completely different characters.
It was refreshing to read a YA book in which the main character wasn't focused on romance! As it had been so long since I had read any of the book set in this world it took me a little while to get my head around the magic system again. Clariel as a character was very interesting and it was great reading about her internal struggle, both with rage and magic. it was also great to see Bel grow into his role though the story his drive to see change and his willingness to chase after it, doing what needed to be done.
I was slightly surprised at how long it took for the dragon to appear in this book, I thought that since it was on the cover the dragon would play a bigger role than it did. I did however liked that we got to see some of the places I vaguely remember from the trilogy like the island house. Overall, a enjoyable book which was much better in my opinion than the Sabriel sequels and maybe even on par with Sabriel? Maybe ...