By Garth Nix
This is the second book in the Abhorsen trilogy.
Lirael is raised by Clayr, which is a group of mostly women who have the ability to see the future. But Lirael never receives her "calling" and she is ashamed that she does not have the "sight."
Sam is the prince of the Old Kingdom, and he is the Abhorsen-in-Waiting. However, he doesn't want the job. He's kind of a schmuck, actually.
The reader follows these two characters and learns about them and the ways of the Old Kingdom, which is full of magic, good and bad. Necromancers practice bad magic, and it is the job of the Abhorsen to fix what the necromancers do, which is make the dead rise up and do their bidding.
I enjoyed this book up until the end, mostly because it just sort of ends and it obviously leads into the third book. I prefer my stories to be a little better rounded and to have an obvious and satisfying ending. This ends with a revelation about Lirael that I had figured out in the first pages, so perhaps that is why I did not find the ending quite satisfying and anti-climatic.
The book does end in an obvious place for a cut-off, though. I suppose the book had to end or it would have been a very fat book indeed.
I look forward to reading the third installment and seeing how things ultimately end.