Summary from Goodreads:
The Ninth was strong
and fought with might,
But lone Orannis
was put out of the light,
Broken in two
and buried under hill,
Forever to lie there,
wishing us ill.
So says the song. But Orannis, the Destroyer, is no longer buried under hill. It has been freed from its subterranean prison and now seeks to escape the silver hemispheres, the final barrier to the unleashing of its terrible powers.
Only Lirael, newly come into her inheritance as the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, has any chance of stopping the Destroyer. She and her companions — Sam, the Disreputable Dog, and Mogget — have to take that chance. For the Destroyer is the enemy of all Life, and it must be stopped, though Lirael does not know how.
To make matters worse, Sam’s best friend, Nick, is helping the Destroyer, as are the necromancer Hedge and the Greater Dead Chlorr, and there has been no word from the Abhorsen Sabriel or King Touchstone.
Everything depends upon Lirael. A heavy, perhaps even impossible burden for a young woman who just days ago was merely a Second Assistant Librarian. With only a vision from the Clayr to guide her, and the rather mixed help of her companions, Lirael must search in both Life and Death for some means to defeat the Destroyer.
Before it is too late. . . .
Once again we are following the adventures of Lirael and Prince Sameth as they fight to withhold the darkness from taking over the world. Once again the story is too drawn out and the little things that came rapid fire in Sabriel are left with exhausting descriptions in Abhorsen, and yet we never get a true feel of the world or the people who inhabit it. It took me forever to read this book because I simply didn’t care about what was happening. If I don’t even care about the destruction of the entire world, then we probably have some issues to resolve here. I just wanted it to be over.
There’s the same get up and go attitude that Sabriel had. We’re on a time constraint with the undead on our heels and sleep deprivation comes as a matter of course. Instead of a grand sense of adventure and discovery this time though, I just found it exhausting. Might be part of the reason that it took me so long to read, I just couldn’t read more than a chapter or two at a time.
We do discover the true natures of Mogget and the Disreputable Dog finally, and I still enjoyed those two characters. The revelation could have come a little earlier in the book and that might have made it more interesting, but as it stands it was filed under “do not care” like a lot of the book.
Better than Lirael, but not by much. I still recommend reading Sabriel and stopping there.
Addendum: Apparently a 4th Abhorsen book is scheduled to be released in 2013, named Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen, about the Abhorsen who became Chlorr of the Mask. I might still have to check it out when it is published just to see if the series is redeemed.