Review: Across the Wall

Hey all!  Let me tell you about Across the Wall by Garth Nix, please.  I initially picked up this collection of short stories just for the Old Kingdom story, but then I ended up reading the whole thing.  It was a good decision.

Across the Wall contains one Old Kingdom work (think Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen, and Clariel) – “Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case”.  It takes place between Abhorsen and Goldenhand (which I haven’t read yet and have to put on pause due to Summer Reading 2017) and features Nicholas Sayre, who we met in Lirael.  The story may be short, but it’s full of tension, deception, and a creepy, blood-drinking creature.  I enjoyed it, and it made me even more excited to finish the series soon.

As for the rest of the stories in the volume, there were some hits and misses, and there was a ton of variety as far as subject material, genre, etc.  Here are some of my favorites:

  • “Charlie Rabbit” – a story about two young brothers and a stuffed animal trying to survive an air raid and the ramifications of war
  • “Heart’s Desire” – a twist on the traditional Merlin and Nimue relationship
  • “Hope Chest” – a western with a touch of magical realism.  So good.
  • “Endings” – a poetic, very short story that explores sorrow and joy.  I LOVED this one.

I also particularly liked how each story had a brief introduction by Garth Nix about how he’d come to write it – those were funny and insightful.  Overall, this was a very good read, and I’m looking forward to reading more by Nix in the future.

Check it out if you’re looking for variety, if you like fantasy, or if you enjoy reading the story behind the story.

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