For Love of Sabriel
It's not about Terciel and Gabrielle's love story.
(Not that we know her actual name yet.)
It's not about the silver bell charms.
(Even though sterling silver is my favorite.)
It's not about the autographed copy of Sabriel,
(Even if it was that gorgeous white-on-white copy.)
or a signed photocopy of the original manuscript;
or even a possible visit to Schuler's Bookstore.
(Even though I'm pretty damn sure I'd lose my mind.)
It's about everything.
This gorgeous ARC will go to someone by the end of the month!
If you've read this blog at any length, you know my name is Dayanara Sanar Ryelle; devoted Priestess of Isis and the first, last and only member of the House of Ryelle–at least until the day the Goddess blesses me with my own child.
Dayanara: (Greek) "she stirs up great passions"
Sanar: (Spanish) an infinitive meaning "to heal"
Ryelle: is still a mystery. Perhaps Australian for, "one who sees the future?" 😉
I'll readily admit that I nicked my forename from Dayanara Torres (Miss Universe 1993 and Marc Anthony's wife from 2000-2004), but Sanar and Ryelle are twins from Garth Nix's Old Kingdom who have been gifted with the Sight (and are probably a lot prettier than me, I daresay!)
My Sabriel Story begins in seventh grade (approximately 1997) at a book fair in a junior high so old, my father graduated from high school there in 1969, some twenty-three years before I was born. As I was a bookworm early on in life (I was reading Babysitter's Club when I started first grade), I always gave the fair carts careful attention. I'll readily admit that I hate books with no description on the back (Sabriel was in paperback at that point, having been out for two years already), but what seventh grader who was into the metaphysical (and perhaps the all-around supernatural) was going to ignore a cover like this?!
So I picked it up.
It could possibly take me another seventeen years to tell you what I've spent the last seventeen reading in what has become four novels and two short stories–with more to come.
The joy of reading is finding a story that enmeshes itself with your life for years to come. I happily read Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen year after year because I'm so enamored with the characters. Clariel was a stark change from the norm, but I'm sure I'll get used to it in time–and there's always the (yet-unnamed) sequel to Abhorsen, which will surely set things right again.
Out of Clariel, "To Hold the Bridge", Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen and "The Creature in the Case", Lirael is by far my favorite. I cannot begin to tell you what attracts me about the Clayr. The enviable way they all gain the Sight upon reaching puberty? Their beauty? The mystery that is their day-to-day existence, that one cannot perceive unless one has the Sight? The sad part is that I heartily doubt that Garth will ever write a book (or novella) solely about the Clayr.
(I have to work on not saying "Clay-er"–it's obviously supposed to be "Clare", as in a modification of the word "clairvoyant".)
Not that I haven't embarked on such an endeavor.
I know I can't publish it (he told me not to and there are no gray areas, unlike with Ophelia), but it's one of those situations where I feel I have to know the story so badly that I need to write it myself.
Mother of the Clayr is so far on the back burner that it's in the oven, but I don't mind sharing a passage. (Oh and I just discovered that I’m having Word correct it to Australian English for me, to make it fit. Hee hee)
(The title refers to Liselle, who is the mother of Sanar and Ryelle.)
Instead of the Goddess-like robes of the everyday Clayr, the woman wore a white satin ballgown with tiny stars stitched in golden thread. Her silver circlet remained, but this was one that fit like a headband and caught her hair up in a golden net. More Watchers followed, filling the entryway with laughter and conversation; blonde and soft brown heads bobbing up the stairs with smiles as bright as the moonstones in their hair. Liselle turned to ask her mentor a question, but it died on her lips as she caught sight of the man out of the corner of her eye.
If he had been in the Lower Refectory, perhaps his black hair, beard and dark brown eyes wouldn’t have stood out very much. But his white suit, golden pocket square and moonstone circlet declared him a member of the Nine Day Watch to anyone who looked his way. He had come into some grey hair since Liselle had last seen him, but she would know him anywhere.
Raziel found her in the crowd and took in the dark blue tunic of the Unawakened. A frown creased his brow.
“I know most of the girls in the Glacier, but I’m afraid I do not know you, young lady—nor have I ever Seen you.”
“Dad, it’s me! Liselle!” She broke away from Seline. “You asked me to come back to the Glacier! You wrote to Carys and said it was time for me to come home, for the sake of the Charter! Don’t tell me you don’t remember me!”
I thought about showing you the scene in Liselle's new bedroom where Seline, her new mentor, explains the Sight; but then I got to the part where I introduced her father and knew I wanted to use the part where I described the uniform of a male Clayr, as they're so rare.
I can't tell you that the relationship between Liselle and Raziel gets better, because I don't remember what I had planned, so it's going to be interesting to see how it pans out–if I ever get back there.
I'm sorry if that was a little ramble-y, but it's hard to describe a series of books I've loved since I was twelve, as they've been a part of my life for so long.
Plus, I just had to have an entry for the Sabriel Day contest, so I was aiming for "getting something written", instead of simple eloquence.