Nicholas Sayre will do anything to get across the Wall, back to the Old Kingdom.
Thoughts of Lirael and Sam haunt his dreams, and he has come to realize that his destiny lies there, along with all those he cares for. But here in Ancelstierre, far south of the Wall, the Charter is dormant, and among the obstacles Nick faces is one that is not entirely human, and which has 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 classic fantasy -- two widely different takes on the Merlin myth -- to a gritty urban version of Hansel and Gretel, to an unusual take on the role of nature in matters of love, and to a heartbreaking story of children and war, Garth Nix displays the range and versatility that have made him one of today's leading writers of fantasy for readers of all ages.
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Garth Nix grew up in Canberra, Australia. Besides being a full-time writer, he has worked as a sales rep, publicist, editor, marketing communications consultant, literary agent, and part-time soldier. He is the author of Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen, the books in the internationally bestselling Abhorsen trilogy, as well as Shade's Children and The Ragwitch. He now lives in Sydney, a five-minute walk from Coogee Beach, with his wife, Anna, his sons, Thomas and Edward, and lots of books.From School Library Journal:
Grade 8 Up–Twelve short stories and one novella are stitched together with the popular Australian author's commentary on his writing life. Nix includes one choose-your-own-adventure type story, Down to the Scum Quarter. A spoof on the genre, it takes place primarily in a bordello and is rife with literary and role-play allusions, but lacks a satisfying story arc. Other selections, more traditional in format, include a disturbingly gory and unforgettable Hansel and Gretel set in a dark cityscape, two spin-offs from Arthurian legend, and a Western fantasy that owes more to the movies than to history. In the novella, Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case, the scion of a political family wants nothing more than to cross the forbidden Wall and be reunited with his friends in the Old Kingdom, where magic is practiced and understood. To that end, Nicholas agrees to engage in espionage for his powerful uncle, only to be swept up in a terrifying scenario as a mummified monster is brought to life with his blood. Readers of the author's bestselling Abhorsen trilogy (Morrow/Avon) will find themselves right at home in this horror/fantasy/mystery but those new to this world will find the first pages slow going as they try to piece together the nature of the alternative reality and to identify offstage characters and events. At times self-indulgent (the text of the author's first book, written at age six, is included in his notes), this collection will nonetheless delight true fans.–Carolyn Lehman, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA
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