Friday, July 29, 2016

Review: The Creature in the Case

The Creature in the Case by Garth Nix
The Old Kingdom #3.5
Published March 7th 2005 by HarperCollins

It is six months since the cataclysmic events of Abhorsen, six months Nicholas Sayre has spent recovering in the Ancelstierre. But he is desperate to return to the Old Kingdom, and at last has the chance.

All he has to do is spend a weekend in a country house as a favour for his Uncle Edward, Chief Minister of Ancelstierre. That seems easy enough, till he discovers that the house holds many secrets, and the worst of them is a relic of the Old Kingdom, too far from the Wall for any spark of its magical life to reignite.

Unless someone finds a way to unleash its power.... 
The Creature in the Case is a novella set in the Old Kingdom, taking place six months after the end of Abhorsen, the 3rd book in the original Old Kingdom trilogy. It's a short read but it maintains the inherent darkness that this series wears like a second skin. This particular story's purpose is to set up the upcoming new full-length Old Kingdom book, Goldenhand, which I think it does perfectly.  I am glad though that I only read this now because had I read it in 2005 when it was published, the wait for Goldenhand (set to release in October of this year) would have been both painful and cruel.

With The Creature in the Case, we catch up with sweet Nicholas Sayre more or less healed from his horrible ordeals prior and wanting to return to the Old Kingdom - and be reunited with Lirael.  Very soon, his quest to make it back becomes complicated - and deadly - with the discovery of that relic from the Old Kingdom the blurb references.  With the additional danger, we see the return of Nicholas as he was before the horrible turn he faced in the original series: he's brave, selfless and incredibly determined.  I'm glad that Nix took the time to remind us of Nicholas' true self, because the poor boy has been through too much...and his trials aren't over yet.

I have to say, I'm really happy I read Clariel recently too because there were parallels in this story - parallels that seem to be hinted at further in the blurb for the upcoming Goldenhand, so I'm hoping my suspicions are correct, because that is something that would be both epic and heartbreaking all in one. Sorry I can't say more, but if anyone is all caught up with the series and wants to chat some more, DM me! Suffice it to say that it would once again prove the genius that is Mister Garth Nix. Anyway, if I'm right, I suspect you'll all here about it in my review of Goldenhand :D

Obviously, this being a novella from a favorite author means that it seemed much too short!  I am so ready to head off on another adventure with Nicholas - and Lirael of course!  She shows up near the end here and it hit me like a punch to the heart how much I missed her, and the rest of the characters from the original trilogy of course.  Seeing as this book sets up the next instalment so well, I'd consider it mandatory reading, since I don't know if Nix will go over the important details again in the following full length book.  In any case, The Creature in the Case was a very enjoyable short adventure that left me wanting more. A lot more! Come on Goldenhand!

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

My previous reviews for the series:


  1. I so need to catch up on these books because I loved Sabriel! Great review!

  2. Good to know that this is a novella I wouldn't want to miss if I do get around to this series, which I've heard SO many great things about :D

    1. Oooh I hope you do get around to this series soon Alise! I have SO MUCH love for it ♥

  3. Novellas always seem too short! I tend to avoid them, but there are some series that you just can't NOT read the novella(s). I haven't read this particular series but I'm glad you're enjoy it, Micheline! =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. If they're from a beloved series, they are ALWAYS too short. I avoid them if they're from a series I'm not head over heals with. Thanks Alyssa^^

  4. Oh, I totally understand when you read a novella by a beloved author and you just want MORE. Wheeee- I'm finally reading Sabriel! OMG, Garth Nix's prose is BEAUTIFUL. Unfortunately I still haven't gotten very far, because real life has been interfering with reading time again. :O I'm glad that you had this to tide you over for a bit until Goldenhand; October will be here before we know it! :D

    1. Eeeep, I'm so excited and anxious for you!!! Nix's prose is stunning it's true ♥ I hope real life gives you a break soon so you can get to the dark, delicious stuff :D

  5. This is another winner from Garth Nix. It takes place immediately before the events in "Goldenhand". I suggest reading it first, but you don't have to. It is very interesting to read them in reverse order...sort of like a prequel. An absolute must for OLD KINGDOM fans!


I LOVE comments & do my best to return every one a.s.a.p. ♥
This blog is an award-free zone. I appreciate the thought but I can't invest the time needed.