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Across the Wall
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About the Author

Garth Nix is a New York Times bestselling novelist and has been a full-time writer since 2001, but has also worked as a literary agent, marketing consultant, book editor, book publicist, book sales representative, bookseller, and as a part-time soldier in the Australian Army Reserve. Garth's many books include the Old Kingdom fantasy series, beginning with Sabriel and continuing to Goldenhand; the sci-fi novels Shade's Children and A Confusion of Princes; the Regency romance with magic Newt's Emerald; and novels for children including The Ragwitch, the Seventh Tower series, the Keys to the Kingdom series, and Frogkisser!, which is now in development as a feature film with Fox Animation/Blue Sky Studios. Garth has written numerous short stories, some of which are collected in Across the Wall and To Hold the Bridge. He has also cowritten several children's book series with Sean Williams, including TroubleTwisters and Have Sword, Will Travel. More than six million copies of his books have been sold around the world and his work has been translated into forty-two languages. You can find him online at www.garthnix.com.

Reviews

Garth Nix fans will enjoy the author's preface to Across the Wall: A Tale of the Abhorsen and Other Stories, which offers insight into his writing process, almost as much as the dozen tales offered in the collection (all previously published), plus a novella set in the Old Kingdom of his Abhorsen Trilogy ("Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case"). Nix offers a brief introduction to the pieces, which range from a game of sorts, "Down to the Scum Quarter: A Farcical Fantasy Solo Adventure," with a comical set of rules, to a haunting retelling of Hansel and Gretel. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Gr 8 Up-Twelve short stories and one novella are stitched together with the popular Australian author's commentary on his writing life. Nix includes one choose-your-own-adventure type story, "Down to the Scum Quarter." A spoof on the genre, it takes place primarily in a bordello and is rife with literary and role-play allusions, but lacks a satisfying story arc. Other selections, more traditional in format, include a disturbingly gory and unforgettable "Hansel and Gretel" set in a dark cityscape, two spin-offs from Arthurian legend, and a Western fantasy that owes more to the movies than to history. In the novella, "Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case," the scion of a political family wants nothing more than to cross the forbidden Wall and be reunited with his friends in the Old Kingdom, where magic is practiced and understood. To that end, Nicholas agrees to engage in espionage for his powerful uncle, only to be swept up in a terrifying scenario as a mummified monster is brought to life with his blood. Readers of the author's bestselling "Abhorsen" trilogy (Morrow/Avon) will find themselves right at home in this horror/fantasy/mystery but those new to this world will find the first pages slow going as they try to piece together the nature of the alternative reality and to identify offstage characters and events. At times self-indulgent (the text of the author's first book, written at age six, is included in his notes), this collection will nonetheless delight true fans.-Carolyn Lehman, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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