Terciel & Elinor
by Nix, Garth

In a single day of fire, death and loss, 19-year-old Elinor is set on a path that takes her into the Old Kingdom where she fights alongside necromancer Terciel against the Dead who will not stay dead. 100,000 first printing. Simultaneous eBook.

In this prequel to the classic Old Kingdom trilogy, Nix introduces Terciel and Elinor, Sabriel's parents, and tells the story of how they met. Raised by Abhorsen Tizanael, Terciel is resigned to a lonely life of servitude, believing that Abhorsens are too busy guarding Death to have a life. In Ancelstierre, Elinor has been taught nothing of magic, believing her Charter Mark to be an unsightly forehead scar. The two meet when the Dead invade Elinor's country home, awakening her Old Kingdom roots and bringing Terciel in their wake. Chapters alternate between them as they separate-Terciel aids Tizanael in finding a powerful relic, while Elinor seeks a way over the Wall-and are drawn together in even more dangerous circumstances. The romance is secondary to the story of the characters' coming into their own, growing in confidence and skill while wielding dark magic and battling the Dead. Terciel's mix of competence and vulnerability is appealing, but Elinor's journey-buoyed by her resilient spirit-is particularly rewarding. Fans will relish this return to a beloved world. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

This sixth book in the Old Kingdom series chronicles how Sabriel's parents met. Readers first meet Terciel (who is later to become Sabriel's father) after he's been plucked out of poverty and obscurity to become the successor to Abhorsen Tizanael. Across the wall in Ancelstierre, Elinor (Sabriel's future mother), an utterly charming 19-year-old aspiring thespian, has spent all her years secluded in the countryside. Though she is lacking a loving parent-her mother is distant, her father dead-Elinor has found care and companionship in her governess, Mrs. Watkins, and the elderly groom Ham, Mrs. Watkins' uncle. When a horrible turn of events uncovers an old and dangerous foe-and leads to Elinor and Terciel's meeting-Elinor learns of her hidden Old Kingdom ancestry and must find her own way in the world for the first time, eventually returning to Terciel. Chapters alternate between the pair. Terciel is likable and his struggles as Abhorsen-in-Waiting are sympathetic, but it's endearing, charismatic Elinor who steals the show in this character-driven story. Nix offers fans of the Old Kingdom a gift in the book's return to the feel of the original trilogy; readers will be glad he chose the path that led to this story. Terciel has deep-brown skin, but his color is leeched by time spent in Death; most other characters read as White. Enjoyable, engaging, and well written. (maps) (Fantasy. 14-18) Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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