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Across the Wall: A Tale of the Abhorsen and Other Stories

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Nicholas Sayre will do anything to get across the Wall. Thoughts of Lirael and Sam haunt his dreams, and he has come to realize that his destiny lies with them, in the Old Kingdom. But here in Ancelstierre, Nick faces an obstacle that is not entirely human, with a strange power that seems to come from Nicholas himself. With Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case Garth N Nicholas Sayre will do anything to get across the Wall. Thoughts of Lirael and Sam haunt his dreams, and he has come to realize that his destiny lies with them, in the Old Kingdom. But here in Ancelstierre, Nick faces an obstacle that is not entirely human, with a strange power that seems to come from Nicholas himself. With Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case Garth Nix continues to explore the magical world of the Abhorsen Trilogy. In additional short stories that range from two widely different takes on the Merlin myth to a gritty urban version of Hansel and Gretel and a heartbreaking story of children and war, Garth Nix displays the range and versatility that has made him one of today’s leading writers of fantasy for readers of all ages.


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Nicholas Sayre will do anything to get across the Wall. Thoughts of Lirael and Sam haunt his dreams, and he has come to realize that his destiny lies with them, in the Old Kingdom. But here in Ancelstierre, Nick faces an obstacle that is not entirely human, with a strange power that seems to come from Nicholas himself. With Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case Garth N Nicholas Sayre will do anything to get across the Wall. Thoughts of Lirael and Sam haunt his dreams, and he has come to realize that his destiny lies with them, in the Old Kingdom. But here in Ancelstierre, Nick faces an obstacle that is not entirely human, with a strange power that seems to come from Nicholas himself. With Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case Garth Nix continues to explore the magical world of the Abhorsen Trilogy. In additional short stories that range from two widely different takes on the Merlin myth to a gritty urban version of Hansel and Gretel and a heartbreaking story of children and war, Garth Nix displays the range and versatility that has made him one of today’s leading writers of fantasy for readers of all ages.

30 review for Across the Wall: A Tale of the Abhorsen and Other Stories

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nemo (The Moonlight Library)

    This is a review of just the novella in this collection, 'Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case'. It is not a review of the complete book. It’s six months after the combined magic of the Charter defeated the Destoryer, and Nick is back in Ancelstierre, reluctantly attending a house party on behalf of his uncle, the Chief Minister. But what lurks behind the frivolous façade is Department 13, a legal entity for exploring the oddities in the Old Kingdom. There, Nick comes across a terrifying O This is a review of just the novella in this collection, 'Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case'. It is not a review of the complete book. It’s six months after the combined magic of the Charter defeated the Destoryer, and Nick is back in Ancelstierre, reluctantly attending a house party on behalf of his uncle, the Chief Minister. But what lurks behind the frivolous façade is Department 13, a legal entity for exploring the oddities in the Old Kingdom. There, Nick comes across a terrifying Old Kingdom creature locked in an ancient case. It should be dormant this far from the Wall, but Nick can feel that it’s alive and waiting for something… That something is Nick’s Charter magic. When Nick is betrayed and his blood fed to the creature, it comes alive and rampages across the house, indiscriminately killing party guests and government employees alike, Nick is the only one who knows where the creature comes from and how he might stop it. But with the Abhorsen so far away in the Old Kingdom, what can Nick do to stop a hyped-up Free Magic creature driven by a madman willing to betray his own kind? Although this is a novella, it packs a punch. It’s quite scary and thrilling to read, especially because Nick doesn’t have any magical powers or items to help him defeat a monster from across the wall. But Nick really shines in this story, his leadership skills, canny observations, cunning, and quick intelligence able to help him in his desperate quest to stop the creature returning to the Old Kingdom even as he wishes to return there himself. It doesn’t even seem that short because there’s plenty of action and even a bit of humour, but it does give more of a look at Ancelstierrans and especially the upper class who would rather stand around screaming than do something useful to save their own lives, and who don’t even believe in magic and necromancy to begin with. I haven’t read Goldenhand yet, but I know it stars Nick and Lirael. That ship might very well have started in this novella, so I can’t quite speculate whether this is essential reading for the Old Kingdom series. I think if you can get your hands on it, you’re going to enjoy a clever, scary story about Nick and get more of a look at the so far kind of sidelined Ancelstierrans.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    The stories in this collection simply aren't very good. I think I've discovered that I'm not a huge fan of Garth Nix as a writer, but more of the Abhorsen trilogy and its world. I recently read Clariel, and was similarly disappointed - perhaps it's because I was younger when I devoured the trilogy, but the characters in Clariel were written superficially and without any real sense of motivation or purpose. (view spoiler)[Or it could be that Nix isn't particularly good at writing nuance, and the The stories in this collection simply aren't very good. I think I've discovered that I'm not a huge fan of Garth Nix as a writer, but more of the Abhorsen trilogy and its world. I recently read Clariel, and was similarly disappointed - perhaps it's because I was younger when I devoured the trilogy, but the characters in Clariel were written superficially and without any real sense of motivation or purpose. (view spoiler)[Or it could be that Nix isn't particularly good at writing nuance, and the story of Clariel becoming Chlorr of the Mask is beyond his powers. (hide spoiler)] In any case, I picked this up because it contains the novella "Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case," which promised more Nick and Lirael. If the opportunity presented itself I'd probably read Nick/Lirael fanfiction and not even be all that ashamed, so I was pretty excited to read the novella and subsequently very disappointed. The plot is paper-thin and Lirael only appears briefly at the end. I did like the southern setting, though, and I'll obviously keep reading if Nix comes out with another book about the second generation of the Abhorsen series. The only story I liked was his Arthurian retelling of the Lady of the Lake. The other stories are pretty terrible, unfocused and uninteresting. And Nix's introduction to "The Hill" goes on at length about how he's baffled that his editor told him not to appropriate Aboriginal culture to write a realistic story (since he borrows from other mythological traditions all the time), which just makes an even stronger argument for never learning anything about authors you like or their personal views. So that's that. I made it about two-thirds of the way through and then gave up.

  3. 5 out of 5

    I'mogén

    Here is my video review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4fQM... On first receiving this book, I hadn't expected it to be a collection of short, random stories written by Garth Nix but had expected it to be competly about The Old Kingdom, with a book title like ''Across THe Wall'', however when I did I was super excited to see it contained Nicholas Sayre and The Creature in the Case as, after just re-reading Abhorsen, I discovered that short stories existence and was eager to read it, although I Here is my video review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4fQM... On first receiving this book, I hadn't expected it to be a collection of short, random stories written by Garth Nix but had expected it to be competly about The Old Kingdom, with a book title like ''Across THe Wall'', however when I did I was super excited to see it contained Nicholas Sayre and The Creature in the Case as, after just re-reading Abhorsen, I discovered that short stories existence and was eager to read it, although I wasn't too sure I'd enjoy the rest of Garth Nix's works. Nicholas Sayre and The Creature in the Case was a great stroy and I really enjoyed reading more about Nick, however, with the sounds of things I was really expecting more Lirael and ended up still having unanswered questions about Nick and Lirael and the world in general. I still loved it though and wanted more! I really enjoyed that Nix kept the font that he used in The Old KIngdom trilogy as it gave me some instant familiarity and I loved that he used introductions to explain a little about the background of the story and how it came to be. I really enjoyed all of the stories, to my surprise, as they are all incredibly different to one another and to the Garth Nix I am used to, but I loved that he always had a little element of fantasy or sci-fi running through the premises. For example, to name but a few, his re-telling of The Lady of The Lake was chilling and refershing as it took on a entirely new feel and his Charlie Rabbit story was so beautiful. Down to the Scum Quarter introduced me to a whole new genre. I had never really heard of ''Choose your own adventure''/''fighting fantasy'' before and will look out for more serious books. (It was more slow going after reading this because after I flicked through it in a way that sort of went along with how you're supposed to read it, I then went through and read the whole of the scenarios.) I have to say, I am glad I didn't read this book when I first discovered The Old Kingdom series because, I was quite young then and some of the stories included in this, such as Hope Chest, was rather intense and gory, though wonderfully executed all the same. I Also loved My New Really Epic Fantasy Series and I should really stop now because I'll end up listing all of the stories! Haha xD Overall, I can't see how anyone wouldn't enjoy this as it shows the diversity of Garth Nix, holds goregous chapter illustrations, shows how great his skills are and introduces new genres to you, however I can see myself having little to no interest in some of these stories if they were longer, for example From The Lighthouse. Pick it up, give it a go and enjoy! >(^_^)< Gén

  4. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I was initially hesitant to jump into this collection of short stories as the first is set in Nix's Old Kingdom. It's been quite some time since I read "Sabriel," "Lirael," and "Abhorsen" and I was nervous that I would not remember enough of the details of those stories to enjoy "Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case" without spending most of the time while reading it trying to remember what/who was being referenced. If that started happening, I would be forced to re-read the entire 1,744 I was initially hesitant to jump into this collection of short stories as the first is set in Nix's Old Kingdom. It's been quite some time since I read "Sabriel," "Lirael," and "Abhorsen" and I was nervous that I would not remember enough of the details of those stories to enjoy "Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case" without spending most of the time while reading it trying to remember what/who was being referenced. If that started happening, I would be forced to re-read the entire 1,744 page saga in order to enjoy this book. I do intend to re-read those books someday, but as I'm trying to do 200 books this year, that would really set me back. I was pleased to find that I could quite enjoy the story as Nix provided enough reminders and backstory that I was able to jump right back in. I was also quite enamoured of the other stories in the book. These are an excellent sampling of the Author's work over the years. I would be hard pressed to choose a favorite, and, as with almost no short story collection I have ever read before, I did not dislike any of them. The best thing about the anthology is the author's introductions to each of them. These paragraphs gave insight into both the origin of the story and the writing process of the author himself, information I always find fascinating. I find, also, that it gives the reader a much richer reading experience.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Renata

    ok first of all why do Garth Nix's books all have THE WORST COVERS, like is his publisher MAD AT HIM or what anyway I mostly picked this up for the first story, a novella about Nicholas Sayre from Lirael, which I loved. the other stories were good? It's kind of a mixed bag of stuff that has been published elsewhere; nothing else in here is related to the Old Kingdom series. A fun but inessential read. ok first of all why do Garth Nix's books all have THE WORST COVERS, like is his publisher MAD AT HIM or what anyway I mostly picked this up for the first story, a novella about Nicholas Sayre from Lirael, which I loved. the other stories were good? It's kind of a mixed bag of stuff that has been published elsewhere; nothing else in here is related to the Old Kingdom series. A fun but inessential read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rose Copeland

    I'll be honest. While I like Garth Nix's writing in general, I really just wanted a follow-up to the events of Abhorsen. While there is no full closure to the events that ended the trilogy, I was happy to see more of Nick in the short "Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case." Nick is beginning to come into his own as he deals with his contact with Orannis, which leads him back to the Wall and ultimately back to Lirael, which I hope means that he and Lirael make good on that romantic tension I'll be honest. While I like Garth Nix's writing in general, I really just wanted a follow-up to the events of Abhorsen. While there is no full closure to the events that ended the trilogy, I was happy to see more of Nick in the short "Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case." Nick is beginning to come into his own as he deals with his contact with Orannis, which leads him back to the Wall and ultimately back to Lirael, which I hope means that he and Lirael make good on that romantic tension from Abhorsen. Sadly though, while I was hoping that this story would close a few doors on my curiosity it has indeed only opened more possibilities by way of Nick's return to the Old Kingdom and the obvious changes his body and soul have undergone. I keep hoping that Nix will elaborate on this someday soon. Otherwise I might have to start writing fanfiction.

  7. 5 out of 5

    August

    Short story collections are always hit and miss for me, because of how much variety is in them. In Nix's case, that works well in his favor - I loved his novels, and I liked seeing the scraps of the other worlds he might have made. I wasn't thrilled with the titular novella, but the most of the other stories were very effective (especially Three Roses). An enjoyable collection. (Thanks, Anna!) Short story collections are always hit and miss for me, because of how much variety is in them. In Nix's case, that works well in his favor - I loved his novels, and I liked seeing the scraps of the other worlds he might have made. I wasn't thrilled with the titular novella, but the most of the other stories were very effective (especially Three Roses). An enjoyable collection. (Thanks, Anna!)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Annemarie

    Disclaimer: This is a collection of short stories and I have a history of not enjoying short stories all that much. Often, I am too frustrated by an extremely lopsided ratio of questions raised to questions answered to appreciate any craft in the writing. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how many of the stories here I did like. I picked up Across the Wall because I was missing the Old Kingdom, and while only the first story in the collection relates to that, I found it satisfying. Nicholas Disclaimer: This is a collection of short stories and I have a history of not enjoying short stories all that much. Often, I am too frustrated by an extremely lopsided ratio of questions raised to questions answered to appreciate any craft in the writing. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how many of the stories here I did like. I picked up Across the Wall because I was missing the Old Kingdom, and while only the first story in the collection relates to that, I found it satisfying. Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case is more of a novella, at 90 pages long, and supplies enough action and suspense to be a page turner. It also begins to answer questions of what some characters did following the end of Nix's last novel of the Old Kingdom, Abhorsen. I also especially liked Under the Lake, Hansel's Eyes, and the two final very, very short entries: Three Roses and Endings. The only story I really disliked was, for the reason cited above as well as for a dearth of likable characters, From the Lighthouse. And, I must confess, Down to the Scum Quarter was wasted on me as I have read very few "choose your own adventures". But I can see how it would be very funny to fans of that genre. Overall, a book to encourage me in reading more short fiction. And a reminder that I will want to read the next Old Kingdom novel when it finally arrives.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Alff (AlffBooks)

    Very quick to read and really fun. I loved the little sort of introduction before each story to tell you a little something more about the story and how it came about,some nice insight into how a writer's life sometimes runs. The stories are great fun and not connected making it easier(not easy, just very slightly less impossible) to put down the book between stories! Another book by Garth Nix that did all but disappoint me! Brilliant! Very quick to read and really fun. I loved the little sort of introduction before each story to tell you a little something more about the story and how it came about,some nice insight into how a writer's life sometimes runs. The stories are great fun and not connected making it easier(not easy, just very slightly less impossible) to put down the book between stories! Another book by Garth Nix that did all but disappoint me! Brilliant!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joey Woolfardis

    [Short review from memory until I re-read it at a later date (2016? If I have time): Little is remember of this! I re-read the Abhorsen trilogy this year and really wasn't in to it much, but Garth Nix is not a terrible writer: I think it was mostly that I had outgrown the story a little. Surprisingly high rating considering my dislike of short stories?] [Short review from memory until I re-read it at a later date (2016? If I have time): Little is remember of this! I re-read the Abhorsen trilogy this year and really wasn't in to it much, but Garth Nix is not a terrible writer: I think it was mostly that I had outgrown the story a little. Surprisingly high rating considering my dislike of short stories?]

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    A fun collection of short stories. Some were more enjoyable than others, but that's par for the course. The main attraction here was the Abhorsen novella, which features Nicholas Sayre, a house party, and a free magic monster on the loose. It was a good return to the Abhorsen world, but mostly it made me realize that I still want more closure with those characters. A fun collection of short stories. Some were more enjoyable than others, but that's par for the course. The main attraction here was the Abhorsen novella, which features Nicholas Sayre, a house party, and a free magic monster on the loose. It was a good return to the Abhorsen world, but mostly it made me realize that I still want more closure with those characters.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    A book of short stories by Garth Nix, many of which have also been published elsewhere. Nix has written better work though and I don't think the introductions to each piece were entirely necessary. In my opinion, the best of this collection are: * Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case - A fantastic novella set in the Abhorsen 'verse. Only read this if you've read at least Books 1-3 of that series because spoilers. More detailed thoughts can be found here * Under the Lake - a very interesting A book of short stories by Garth Nix, many of which have also been published elsewhere. Nix has written better work though and I don't think the introductions to each piece were entirely necessary. In my opinion, the best of this collection are: * Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case - A fantastic novella set in the Abhorsen 'verse. Only read this if you've read at least Books 1-3 of that series because spoilers. More detailed thoughts can be found here * Under the Lake - a very interesting take on the Lady of the Lake from Arthurian legend * Hansel's Eyes - a deliciously dark modern retelling of Hansel and Gretel that left me wishing for more The rest of the stories were rather mediocre. The worst for me was Down to the Slum Quarter which was a choose your own adventure. A good idea in principle but not well executed as I kept going round in circles.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Klassen

    3.5 stars I enjoyed a lot of the stories in this! Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case was great and a few others like Charlie Rabbit, The Hill, and Down to the Scum Quarter, Hope Chest, and Three Roses were also memorable and enjoyable. A few I didn't connect with or didn't care for. 3.5 stars I enjoyed a lot of the stories in this! Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case was great and a few others like Charlie Rabbit, The Hill, and Down to the Scum Quarter, Hope Chest, and Three Roses were also memorable and enjoyable. A few I didn't connect with or didn't care for.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Althea Ann

    A re-read - due to my somehow forgetting to mark down that I'd read the book, and finding another copy at the thrift store for $1. The stories are good enough that I didn't mind re-reading. Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case — This story features characters from the 'Abhorsen' series, but relates a stand-alone adventure. Nicholas gets involved with secret agents and has to save the aristocratic attendees of an annoying party from a vicious and magical creature from Across the Wall. Very A re-read - due to my somehow forgetting to mark down that I'd read the book, and finding another copy at the thrift store for $1. The stories are good enough that I didn't mind re-reading. Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case — This story features characters from the 'Abhorsen' series, but relates a stand-alone adventure. Nicholas gets involved with secret agents and has to save the aristocratic attendees of an annoying party from a vicious and magical creature from Across the Wall. Very action-oriented. Under the Lake — What if the Lady of The Lake, of Arthurian legend, was an amoral, inhuman creature, interacting with Merlin for her own purposes? Charlie Rabbit — A very sentimental, but effective story. Two boys are trapped in a bomb shelter after an air raid. The older boy tells his brother a story starring his toy rabbit to keep from panicking... From the Lighthouse — I really like this one. A boorish developer arrives at a remote island that he has (possibly) purchased, with all kinds of plans to change it utterly. But a clever woman does not intend on letting her home be stolen from her community. The Hill — Apparently, there was an objection to this story featuring Aboriginal Australian characters, and it got bowdlerized. I'd like to read the original. Still, it's good. Thematically similar to the previous selection: a boy and his grandfather team up to prevent the boy's father from selling the family land to developers. Lightning Bringer — This one reminds me a bit of Charles deLint. A young man sees a girl he knows killed by lightning summoned by a strange drifter... There's nothing he can do, but when the man arrives in town for the second time, and sets his sights on his girlfriend, he knows he has to somehow prevent a second crime. Down to the Scum Quarter — A 'Choose Your Own Adventure' story. If you remember the series, you'll find this hilarious. If you don't, you'll probably be mystified. Heart's Desire — A story of doomed love between Merlin and his apprentice Nimue. Hansel's Eyes — A cyberpunk-ish, dystopian & futuristic Hansel and Gretel story, where the witch's cabin is a video game store in a ghetto. Really quite creepy and disturbing. Hope Chest — In a Old West town, a foundling girl has a mysterious legacy - that will help her to defeat evil, but lose her the ones that she loved. My Really Epic New Fantasy Series — A brief, humorous speech given at a con. Not really necessary. But it's only two pages. Three Roses — A short-short with an authentic fairy-tale feel. A king high-handeldly demands ownership of a gardener's roses, but they always fail to thrive... Endings — Another short-short - but possibly the most powerful piece in the book. Love it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Miriam

    Garth Nix is a wonderful writer. I haven't read his Abhorsen series so I skipped over the Abhorsen story in this collection, but I read all the others and thoroughly enjoyed them all. "Under the Lake" was weird but brilliant, and "Down to the Scum Quarter" was incredibly fun. The latter story is written in 100 paragraphs and the reader sort of makes his own story by being directed to certain paragraphs depending on what objects he has chosen to carry with him and/or what he wants his character d Garth Nix is a wonderful writer. I haven't read his Abhorsen series so I skipped over the Abhorsen story in this collection, but I read all the others and thoroughly enjoyed them all. "Under the Lake" was weird but brilliant, and "Down to the Scum Quarter" was incredibly fun. The latter story is written in 100 paragraphs and the reader sort of makes his own story by being directed to certain paragraphs depending on what objects he has chosen to carry with him and/or what he wants his character do. For example, this is in paragraph 3: "Descending to the next floor, you find yourself in a barbershop...There are four doors, sixteen reflections, and a trapdoor. Do you go through the door marked with a tiger? Go to 85 Or the door marked with a lady? go to 39." Etc. The numerous stories are all very comic, as it is a mock-Three Musketeers style theme. I spent a couple hours in great enjoyment of this story (or Stories!). Anyway: My favorite stories were "My New Really Epic Fantasy Series" (An absolutely hilarious "Prologue" to a fake fantasy series, poking fun at the fantasy genre) "Three Roses", and "Hope Chest", and "Endings" (which is unbelievablly brilliant and thought provoking). "Heart's Desire" overturned all my previous thoughts about Vivien and Merlin. So! I'm going to read more Garth Nix!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Regan

    OK, when I started this book I thought I was about to read an unexpected fourth book in the Abhorsen Trilogy. It's NOT an unexpected fourth book in the Abhorsen Trilogy, just for the record, although the first "story" (actually a novella) is a continuation of that world via Nick Sayers, a primary character from the trilogy. It's ACTUALLY a collection of various Nix short stories from here, there, and everywhere. Some of them I really enjoyed. Some were just OK. I think, overall, that one of the t OK, when I started this book I thought I was about to read an unexpected fourth book in the Abhorsen Trilogy. It's NOT an unexpected fourth book in the Abhorsen Trilogy, just for the record, although the first "story" (actually a novella) is a continuation of that world via Nick Sayers, a primary character from the trilogy. It's ACTUALLY a collection of various Nix short stories from here, there, and everywhere. Some of them I really enjoyed. Some were just OK. I think, overall, that one of the things I most love about Nix is his ability to delve you into a totally unknown world but make you feel like you know it - and that works much better in the novel format than in the short story format. So I still like Garth Nix. This isn't my fave of his works. I'm looking forward to reading another full-length novel. ----------- Second reading 9/12/17 Across the Wall is a collection of short stories and I've read it before although I didn't recall all of the stories. They are fine stories, most of them (a few are a touch silly and I really dislike "Down to the Scum Quarter") but I must be craving novels right now, overall I just wanted to be done. I have one more book of stories to read, these I haven't read before, and then I'm out of Abhorsen stuff to read and will move on to a different author. Finally.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ruhama

    A collection of short stories by the author of Sabriel and the Seventh Tower series. Nix has compiled a bunch of short things he’s published in magazines and other collections into his own collection. The first story is the longest, and it is a short tale of the Abhorsen, so fans of Sabriel will pick this up for that aspect alone. The other stories cover a variety of genres, as he’s been asked to write certain things for various magazines, but they all have a touch of fantasy to them. Each story A collection of short stories by the author of Sabriel and the Seventh Tower series. Nix has compiled a bunch of short things he’s published in magazines and other collections into his own collection. The first story is the longest, and it is a short tale of the Abhorsen, so fans of Sabriel will pick this up for that aspect alone. The other stories cover a variety of genres, as he’s been asked to write certain things for various magazines, but they all have a touch of fantasy to them. Each story has an introduction from Nix, setting the background and giving some hints to what he was thinking when he wrote the story. I enjoyed all of the stories, some more than others, and have to warn you that one is a bit more sexual in nature than the others, so this would need to go in a young adult collection.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alysha DeShaé

    My full review is here on my personal website. I'll post a few excerpts here, though: 5.0 out of 5.0 stars The very worst thing about this book is that Garth Nix dares to tell us that he doesn’t want to hear if our favorite story is “The Coin Shower.” What was he thinking?! The very best thing about this book is the variety of stories. They aren’t all Old Kingdom tales, and the one that is wasn’t my favorite – I’m not big on mysteries. My favorites were probably “The Hill” and “Heart’s Desire.” “Li My full review is here on my personal website. I'll post a few excerpts here, though: 5.0 out of 5.0 stars The very worst thing about this book is that Garth Nix dares to tell us that he doesn’t want to hear if our favorite story is “The Coin Shower.” What was he thinking?! The very best thing about this book is the variety of stories. They aren’t all Old Kingdom tales, and the one that is wasn’t my favorite – I’m not big on mysteries. My favorites were probably “The Hill” and “Heart’s Desire.” “Lightning Bringer” was interesting, if not a little disturbing and kind of out of place, I think. They’re all great, though! Even “The Coin Shower” in it’s eight-word glory. :-D

  19. 4 out of 5

    K.

    It's been a while since I read any Garth Nix. I picked it up expecting it to be the next book in the Abhorsen series, but quickly discovered that it's a series of short stories. While only the first and the last related to the world of the Abhorsen series, this was a thoroughly enjoyable collection of Nix's work, spanning almost 20 years of his writing career. It's a great opportunity to see how a writer's style can develop over time. It's been a while since I read any Garth Nix. I picked it up expecting it to be the next book in the Abhorsen series, but quickly discovered that it's a series of short stories. While only the first and the last related to the world of the Abhorsen series, this was a thoroughly enjoyable collection of Nix's work, spanning almost 20 years of his writing career. It's a great opportunity to see how a writer's style can develop over time.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Liam Healy

    I never used to like short stories, but Garth Nix always seems to collect a variety of stories that make his collections more interesting. He's now one of my favorite authors, but I feel like it's about time I move on and read some other authors' works. Maybe I'll read one or two more by him, but I never like to get too focused on one author. This collection was a good one to end my Nix binge on, and I'm looking forward to reading the next Abhorsen book, whenever that comes out. I never used to like short stories, but Garth Nix always seems to collect a variety of stories that make his collections more interesting. He's now one of my favorite authors, but I feel like it's about time I move on and read some other authors' works. Maybe I'll read one or two more by him, but I never like to get too focused on one author. This collection was a good one to end my Nix binge on, and I'm looking forward to reading the next Abhorsen book, whenever that comes out.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Dacyczyn

    I'm marking this book as "read", but it's really more of a DNF since I quit after the Abhorsen-related story and the next. I always forget that this is a mixed bag of stories, not a collection of stories about the Old Kingdom. I don't really like short stories, so I'm only here for more Abhorsen stuff...and even that was pretty flimsy here. I'm marking this book as "read", but it's really more of a DNF since I quit after the Abhorsen-related story and the next. I always forget that this is a mixed bag of stories, not a collection of stories about the Old Kingdom. I don't really like short stories, so I'm only here for more Abhorsen stuff...and even that was pretty flimsy here.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lars Dradrach

    A mixed bag of goods, not all fit for publishing. Picked this up because the title indicated it was stories set in the Abhorsen universe, but that's only the first story, the remaining stories are bit and pieces from Nix's career as a writer, with small introductions explaining when and why they were written. Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case — An action filled follow up, interesting and well written. (4 Stars) Under the Lake — One of two Arthurian stories, this one about the Lady of th A mixed bag of goods, not all fit for publishing. Picked this up because the title indicated it was stories set in the Abhorsen universe, but that's only the first story, the remaining stories are bit and pieces from Nix's career as a writer, with small introductions explaining when and why they were written. Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case — An action filled follow up, interesting and well written. (4 Stars) Under the Lake — One of two Arthurian stories, this one about the Lady of the Lake as a truly alien creature - captivating (4 Stars). Charlie Rabbit — Children caught in a war zone, not really my thing (2 stars) From the Lighthouse — Old school sci-fi in Bradbury style about a would-be conquer who meets his match (3 stars) The Hill —Another old school "sci-fi" story about family relations and belonging to the land. (3 stars) Lightning Bringer — Urban fantasy about a man who controls lightning (2 stars) Down to the Scum Quarter — A multible choice story (DNF) Heart's Desire — The second Arthurian story about Merlin's and Ninianes relation - sweet and touching (4 stars) Hansel's Eyes — A remake of Hansel and Grethel - a little too constructed (2. stars) Hope Chest — A western sci-fi (4 stars) My Really Epic New Fantasy Series — A made up story (DNF) Three Roses — Another fairy tale/fable (2. stars) Endings — Some kind of allegory - not sure i got it fully (DNF)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Eli Claire

    I'm only giving this book two stars because the only story I really enjoyed in it was the story of the Old Kingdom that was included. Most of the other stories just felt ... bleh. I've read short stories that really capture you, and make you think, and leave you wanting more - but not in this collection, unfortunately. Still, I'm glad we got to learn more about Nicholas Sayre and the Old Kingdom, and in the FAQs Nix tells you how to pronounce Ancelstierre! It's worth reading the collection if yo I'm only giving this book two stars because the only story I really enjoyed in it was the story of the Old Kingdom that was included. Most of the other stories just felt ... bleh. I've read short stories that really capture you, and make you think, and leave you wanting more - but not in this collection, unfortunately. Still, I'm glad we got to learn more about Nicholas Sayre and the Old Kingdom, and in the FAQs Nix tells you how to pronounce Ancelstierre! It's worth reading the collection if you like the Abhorsen trilogy (although you could probably skip the other stories and be fine).

  24. 4 out of 5

    Britt N

    I loved this collection of short stories. Of course, Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case was my favourite, anything to do with the Old Kingdom is the best as far as I'm concerned. But the other stories were really good and captivating too. I especially enjoyed Down to the Scum Quarter, Hope Chest, Three Roses and Endings. A great collection! I loved this collection of short stories. Of course, Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case was my favourite, anything to do with the Old Kingdom is the best as far as I'm concerned. But the other stories were really good and captivating too. I especially enjoyed Down to the Scum Quarter, Hope Chest, Three Roses and Endings. A great collection!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Natalie McCasker

    I did not finish this anthology. I was only really interested in the Old Kingdom short story - Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case. I don't really feel the need to continue on reading the other works. Maybe I will come back to it and read the rest eventually. I did not finish this anthology. I was only really interested in the Old Kingdom short story - Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case. I don't really feel the need to continue on reading the other works. Maybe I will come back to it and read the rest eventually.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Avery (ThePagemaster)

    Not a lackluster collection of short stories, but I only liked a couple of the short stories. Those being: -Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case -Down to the Scum Quarter -Hope Chest The rest were either meh, or too short for me to really have any sort of true thought or grading.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brook

    I was under the impression that this was going to be short stories based in the Abhorsen universe and so found it really odd that there was one story that went along with that series and then just a bunch of random short stories. It was fine, but not what I was expecting.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    I don't know why I ever try collections of short stories. Loved the first one about Nicholas Sayre. Everything else was a big modge podge collection of stories from different worlds. I don't know why I ever try collections of short stories. Loved the first one about Nicholas Sayre. Everything else was a big modge podge collection of stories from different worlds.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Harper

    DNF mostly because I just wanted to read “The Creature in the Case” before moving on to Goldenhand.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    The Abhorsen story had much of what I loved from those books: mystery, atmosphere, excellent prose, and overall strangeness. Otherwise, I enjoyed most the story "Three Roses." The Abhorsen story had much of what I loved from those books: mystery, atmosphere, excellent prose, and overall strangeness. Otherwise, I enjoyed most the story "Three Roses."

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