Finally finished my reread! I do like Garth Nix’s world, but I really didn’t get on with the characters, especially not second (or third) time around. Lirael is alright, but between her and Sameth, there’s too much self-pity. Mind you, that improves a lot in this book as both of them accept their responsibilities and burdens… not the responsibilities and burdens they expected to have to bear, but important ones, and ones perhaps more suited to them.
The background to this is interesting, too: the Bright Shiners, the Wallmakers, the power that goes into each of the lines that keeps the Old Kingdom safe. As Nix says in one of the notes in my edition, to know more about this would be almost to spoil the allure. It’s more fun to guess. I do want to know, though, if he knew of this song when he came up with the Nine Bright Shiners… (I asked. He replied that yes, he did, and it was intentional. Hurrah!)
I still wish for more of Sabriel and Touchstone in this one, as in Lirael, because I find them more interesting than their kids. But I do enjoy their brief appearances, and their obvious love for their kids balanced with their responsibilities.
And now onto Clariel — finally!