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Lirael is Abhorsen-in-Waiting, a Daughter of the Clayr, and the first Remembrancer in several hundred years. She, alone in the entire history of the Clayr, has not received the Sight. At fourteen, she is several years older than most of those who are without the Sight. This sends her into a deep depression, once leading her to a suicide attempt. When she is on the cliff she was about to throw herself off, she is found by many high-ranking Clayr. In order to assuage this sorrow, she is given a job as an Assistant Librarian in the Great Library of the Clayr. While exploring in the Library, she discovers a soapstone carving of a dog. Unfortunately this results in setting free a very powerful free magic creature called a Stilken, which she later defeats using the chief librarian's sword. She tries to make a sending using it as the inspiration, but the stone is consumed in the making, and a real dog, the Disreputable Dog, is created in place of a sending. She refers to the Dog as her best friend and greatest companion.
Several years later, Lirael goes exploring and discovers a cave that a long-ago Clayr created for her. Within the chamber, she discovers the Book of Remembrance and Forgetting, which is similar to the Abhorsens' Book of the Dead, as well as the accompanying Dark Mirror and pipes, the tools of a Remembrancer. She is again found by many important Clayr, who have finally been able to See a specific area of the Old Kingdom they have been trying to See for years. In addition, this is the first time in recorded history that Lirael has ever been Seen. They Saw Lirael on a boat on the Red Lake in midsummer with a boy (Nicholas Sayre). She goes south, so that she may get to the Red Lake and make this prophecy true. The Dog joins her.
After meeting Sameth and Mogget on the way, the four arrive at the House of the Abhorsen on the river Ratterlin. She discovers, when the Sendings of the House give her a surcoat emblazoned with the Star of the Clayr and the key of the Abhorsen, that she, not Sameth, is the Abhorsen-in-Waiting.
When the foursome finally reaches the Lightning Farm and the bound Orannis in Abhorsen, she travels to the Ninth Precinct of Death in order to use the Dark Mirror to see back to the Beginning to discover how Orannis was bound. While here, she battles Hedge who is defeated and passes the Ninth Gate. When the new Seven, with the help of Yrael(Mogget), bind Orannis again, she wields Astarael. Part of the Binding is that whomever splits the hemisphere binding Orannis must be sacrificed; however, the Dog bites her hand off when she uses Nehima(which was imbued with the blood of the Seven "stand-ins" and the metal from her Remembrancer panpipes) on the sphere. Sameth later crafts Lirael a new, golden hand, which Kibeth (the Disreputable Dog) knew, possibly because she is the Third Bright Shiner.
|Name||Relationships (in which books)|
|Terciel||Father (in Lirael & Abhorsen)|
|Kirrith||Aunt (in Lirael)|
|Sabriel||Half-Sister (in Lirael & Abhorsen)|
|Touchstone||Half-Brother-in-law (in Lirael & Abhorsen)|
|Prince Sameth||Half-Nephew (in Lirael & Abhorsen)|
|Princess Ellimere||Half-Niece (in Lirael & Abhorsen)|
|Arielle||Mother (in Lirael & Abhorsen)|