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The Fall (Nix novel) facts for kids

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The Fall
The Fall (Garth Nix novel) cover.jpg
The Fall book cover
Author Garth Nix
Illustrator Steve Rawlings
Cover artist Madalina Stefan
Country Australian
Language English
Series The Seventh Tower
Genre Fantasy novel
Publisher Scholastic
Publication date
17 June 2000
Media type Print (paperback)
Pages 195 (US)
ISBN 0-439-17682-4
OCLC 44189031
LC Class CPB Box no. 1858 vol. 13
Followed by Castle 

The Fall is the first book in Garth Nix's The Seventh Tower series, published in 2000 by Scholastic. It tells the story of Tal, a boy who lives in a world with eternal darkness. His home is a Castle with seven towers.

The cover design and art are by Madalina Stefan and Steve Rawlings respectively.


Tal, a young Chosen boy, is climbing the Red Tower with his shadowguard to steal a Sunstone. He reaches just below the Veil when he hears a cry far below. For a moment, Tal thinks he has been caught, only to realize the scream was from his little brother, who has secretly followed him. It was he that was caught by a Spiritshadow. Tal decides it would be too risky to climb back down to help his little brother, so he proceeds to climb the Veil. He arrives above the Veil only to meet a Spiritshadow without a master, calling itself the 'Keeper'. After briefly fighting with it, it eventually sends Tal falling off the Red Tower.


Tal has just found out that his father is missing, presumably dead. His father is the only one in his family possessing a Primary Sunstone. Tal's Mother possessed a primary sunstone, but upon becoming ill, its power faded along with her. Without it, Tal's family will not be able to enter the spirit world of Aenir. This is troubling for the family in two ways; first, Tal, who has reached the proper age, would not be able to bind himself a Spiritshadow, and would thus be doomed as an Underfolk, a servant of the Castle; secondly, his mother is very ill, and Tal believes the cure may be found in Aenir. He knows that he must find a Sunstone, and tries to obtain one in three different ways. The first way is asking one from his cruel aunts. Upon asking, Tal meets Shadowmaster Sushin, who, like his aunts, wish to make his and his family's life more miserable than it is. This puzzles Tal, since Sushin is a stranger to him.

His aunts refuse to give one of their multiple Sunstones, so Tal has to depend on his next plan, which is by winning a Chosen competition among the Achievements of Luminosity. He enters the Achievement of Body category, but finds out at the last minute that somehow he had been "registered" for the wrong category. His name was written on the Achievement of Music roster. Without a piece to play, he runs down to find his great-uncle Ebbitt, who gives him a piece to perform. Upon entering the contest, he finds, much to his horror, that Sushin is one of the three judges. He performs the piece quite well, but is given the Yellow Ray of Failed Ambition, meaning he tried too hard. He does not win a Sunstone.

The third way is by asking one from the Empress of the castle. The guards of the Empress makes a deal with his, asking him to play a game called 'Beastmaker'. If Tal wins, he may enter. If Tal loses, he will give up his Sunstone. They play the game, and just as it appears that Tal will win, Sharrakor, who he knows as the Empress's Spiritshadow, viciously stops the game. The frightened guards force him to leave.

With no way to get a Sunstone, he goes to his great-uncle again. Ebbitt advises him to steal a Sunstone by climbing the Red Tower, the least guarded tower of the seven that protrude from the Castle.

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