cover image Terciel & Elinor (Old Kingdom)

Terciel & Elinor (Old Kingdom)

Garth Nix. HarperCollins/Tegen, $19.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-304932-1

Nix (The Left-Handed Booksellers of London) makes a satisfying return to his Old Kingdom series with this prequel about Sabriel’s parents, Terciel and Elinor. As young, brown-skinned Terciel moves from a life of hunger to an apprenticeship as Abhorsen-in-Waiting in the Old Kingdom, 19-year-old Elinor takes to the stage and practices carnival skills across the wall, in nonmagical Ancelstierre. After surviving an assault on her home through Terciel’s timely intervention, Elinor takes a position at magic-teaching girls’ school Wyverley College, hoping to learn magic—with which she is newly acquainted—and prepare to travel to the Old Kingdom. When an incident sees her reunited with Terciel, and whisked to the Abhorsen’s House by a distant relative who reveals Elinor’s connection to a sisterhood of seeresses, she finds that she is to play a vital part in the fight against a powerful Dead creature. Elinor, inexperienced with the Old Kingdom, offers a useful introduction to the world, while sympathetic characters, a unique magical system, and frightening foes guarantee broad appeal to teen and adult fantasy readers, whether established Nix fans or new to the series. Most characters default to white. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Jill Grinberg Literary. (Nov.)