Haly is a Libyrarian, one of a group of people dedicated to preserving and protecting the knowledge passed down from the Ancients and stored in the endless maze of books known as the Libyrinth. But Haly has a secret: the books speak to her. When an attack by the hostile Eradicants drives her from her home, Haly learns that things are not at all what she thinks they are. Taken prisoner by the Eradicants, who believe the written word to be evil, she sees the world through their eyes and comes to understand that they are not the book-burning monsters that she has known her entire life. The words of a young girl hiding in an Amsterdam attic and written hundreds of years before Haly's birth will spark the interest of her captors and begin the change necessary to end the conflict between the Eradicants and Libyrarians. With the help of her loyal companion Nod, a creature of the Libyrinth, Haly must mend the rift between the two groups before their war for knowledge destroys them all. In doing so, Haly's life - and the lives of everyone she knows - will never be the same.
- Paperback | 336 pages
- 136 x 204 x 26mm | 299.37g
- 03 Aug 2010
- St Martin's Press
- Tor Books
- New York, United States
"Among this novel's pleasures are the many anonymous quotations scattered throughout, snatches of prose that Haly hears as she goes about her chores, from such sources as Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl, Charlotte's Web, and Fahrenheit 451, all of which are carefully identified at the end. The complex moral issues posed by this thoughtful and exciting tale are just as fascinating." - Publishers Weekly."
About Pearl North
PEARL NORTH has written fantasy and science fiction for adults under a different name. Libyrinth is her first young adult novel. She lives outside of Detroit, Michigan.
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I also posted this review on my book weblog <a href="http://moonplanet.dreamwidth.org/45474.html">here</a>. (I took care to give no obvious spoilers about the story, but there are some in the back cover description) <b>Title:</b> Libyrinth (on <a href="http://www.librarything.nl/work/8081104">Librarything</a>) <b>Author:</b> Pearl North (pseudonym of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Harris_%28author%29">Anne Harris</a>) <b>Back cover text / first alinea of chapter 1:</b> <i>The wind howled and the flames roared, but the books, as they died, merely fell silent.</i> The Eradicants had arrived before dawn, erecting their bonfire outside the Libyrinth's main entrance as they did every year. For weeks the Libyrarians and their clerks had been collecting books for the annual sacrifice. Now Haly, clerk to the Libyrarian Selene, stood with her people in a ring around the bonfire, watching the black-robed, masked Eradicants file out from the vaulting, ornate archway of the Ancient library to feed the fire with words. Dead words, according to the song the Eradicants sang. <i>When a word is spoken, it is born, when it is written, it dies. Sacred fire of life, free the shackled dead. The meaning of the murdered word, by Yammon may it be said.</i> The low, sonorous chant droned on as the smoke from the burning books frew thicker, spreading an acrid cloud across the flat, rocky Plain of Ayor. The rising sun painted the Libyrinth's great central dome, towering spires, and massive curled walls with flames of its own. The structure was one of the greates sites the Ancients had left behind; a library so cast that even after generations, Haly's people had yet to catalogue all the books it held. <b><i>Review:</i></b> <b>Story:</b> The story takes place on another planet (probably) on a continent with three "countries": the Libyrinth, a large library (not so much a maze) located in the area Ayor, Ilysies, a country with a queen and female warriors and a palace full of women with almost no men/boys, and the area where the "Eradicants" (or "Singers" as they call themselves) live. The Singers have an oral tradition (singing all their information), the Libyrarians obviously have books and texts, and the people in Ilysies also have a library in the palace, but I don't know about the rest of the population. I expect they also have access to books, as it was written in the beginning of the book that the Libyrarians traded information for food with Ilysies, so I expect they traded books. There are a LOT of Earth books in the Libyrinth, but judging from the descriptions in the book, the planet wasn't Earth. So sometime in the past, all those books must have been transferred to another planet. Which makes me wonder why... The "Ancient" in the back cover text refers to the "Ancients", the people who lived on that planet before these three countries were formed. They left behind some technology things which reminds me of the Ancients in Stargate... but here they also left behind this library. The only things in the story about the Ancients are a few things about their technology and devices they left behind, which also play a big part in the story. The book burning from the back cover text happens for a reason: the Eradicants are looking for a specific book (the title of which kept reminding me of Diane Duane's <a href="http://www.librarything.nl/work/19026">The book of night with moon</a>; the actual title was "The book of the night") for a reason having to do with their religion, which I'm not going to expand on. Almost all events and problems in this story are caused by the Eradicants' search for the Book of the night. Also interesting to note is that the main character Haly can hear the books speaking in her own language, no matter what language the books are written in. So a library isn't a quiet place for her at all! This ability is unique in this story (AND it has an explanation) and also connects nicely to the Eradicants' book search. The book is the first book in a trilogy, but it reads like a stand-alone book - the story has a good conclusion. It concludes the main storyline, but I still wonder a bit about the Ancients (though those questions can be answered by doing a Stargate-crossover :P). <b>Writing style:</b> Recently I'd read a few books with detailed descriptions (Michael Scott's Nicholas Flamel books), so when I started reading this book it felt "light" - there were hardly any descriptions compared to my recent reads. The author described basic things like the main characters' appearance, though at first I thought Nod was a little boy, but after a few descriptions I started doubting that. It turned out that Nod was the little brown/red creature on the girl's shoulder on the front cover image. The introduction/description of Nod could've been better. For the rest of the descriptions (normal people, surroundings, items) everything was clear. I did see one typo and a double "the". <b>Rereadability:</b> Yes.show moreby S. Broers