Who wrote this book and when?
Garth Nix in 2001.

Has there been a film version?
No – but George Lucas owns the film rights.

Who are the main characters?
Tal – a young Chosen who has found himself breaking many of his society’s rules in a quest to free his family from the clutches of an evil Chosen
Milla – a young Icecarl girl who suddenly is renamed as the leader of her people in a time when she will have to lead them into battle
Adras and Odris – Storm Shepherds who have willingly bound themselves to be the Spiritshadows/guardians of Tal and Milla
Malen – a young Crone assigned to work with Milla on behalf of the Crones
Sushin – an evil Lightmaster who is quite possibly working for the evil Shadows of Aenir
Sharrakor – supposedly the Spiritshadow of the Empress
Crow, Ferek, Gill, Clovil, and Inkie – rebel Underfolk who want to aid the Icecarls in their battle against the Chosen
Lokar – the Guardian of the Red Keystone, currently trapped inside of it

What’s it about?
Milla, now War Chief of the Icecarls, is planning the attack on the castle. She realizes they will need vast quantities of airweed to move her army through the heating vents and makes the decision to go enlist the help of the Freefolk. Malen goes with her on behalf of the Crones. Along the way, near the skeleton, they come into contact with two Underfolk and three free Spiritshadows. Milla tries to fight them with the Talon of Danir, and manages to wound them before they flee. Then the two girls meet up with Ferek, Clovil, Gill, and Inkie who tell them that both Ebbitt and Crow have been seriously wounded and will probably die. She agrees to follow them to the Freefolk Fortress, wanting to talk to Crow.

Meanwhile, Tal has transported himself, Adras, and Lokar with the Red Keystone to Aenir. Unfortunately, he does this at the wrong time and is forced to Light Dive (bungee jump) off a cliff into the ash lake which the Chosen live by when in Aenir. He barely manages to make it to shore without being eaten by a Kerfer and enters a cave for safety. He and Adras both fall asleep until nightfall. When they awaken, they ask Lokar (who is slowly going insane from being trapped in the Red Keystone) for help in getting to the Empress’ island in the middle of the ash lake. She spends several hours instructing Tal on how to build a suit of armor out of light and how to use Adras as a ventilation system. When he is finally finished, Tal seals himself and Adras inside and they begin their journey across the ash lake bed towards the island of the Empress.

Why is this book a classic?
It isn’t.

Why should I read this book?
To get to the end of the series.

Why did this book make your list?
I love Garth Nix as an author and wanted to read more books by him. This is the fifth in The Seventh Tower series.

Has it won any awards?
No.

Favorite quotes:
“Milla danced a dance of death, the Talon’s whip of light weaving around her like a razor-sharp ribbon.” – p 189
Anything else?

Personal Thoughts:
Garth Nix is such a surprising author. I pride myself (sometimes a little too much) on my ability to predict where a plotline is heading or who will die and who will survive in a fictional world, but Nix just throws my radar off. He has no qualms about making the journey this series takes you on as fantastic as possible.

This novel out of the series was a change from the others, as it is the first where Tal and Milla operate completely separate from each other for the entire book. I enjoyed this difference, but it was something which took getting used to. Sometimes I forgot what was going on with the other until it directly affected whomever I was reading about. But even so, it leads to a point where Nix has you hanging off every nuance and blink of his characters’ eyes for insight as to what will happen next.

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