Beneath The Surface of Clive Barker's Abarat

Chapter Excerpt - Power and Might

If magic is an invisible science, which makes what seems immutable flow and become other than itself, then love is its most certain proof.

Clive Barker - notes for The Book of Hours,  c.2000

When we are introduced to the Abarataraba it is embodied within pages of books but it is a different kind of object to Wolfswinkel’s hats or Mater Motley’s summoning clavicle. The pages of the Abarataraba are entirely connected to the spiritual, creative meaning of the Abarat and hold powers which are far more fundamental. They are ‘Pieces of Life’.

Sensing her abilities even from her tarot card, Zephario asks himself what right Candy has to have such power, whilst Candy herself comments, ‘Why not have all the power you can get?’ Candy is perhaps a dangerous person to lay hands on unpredictable spiritual forces if she is by nature, as Joephi remarks, ‘a combination of rage and power’. But Zephario entrusts her with a square of the Abarataraba with which she inspires the creation of a mighty glyph. The glyph takes sparks of Candy’s soul and the Abarataraba remakes her as ‘a constellation… pieces of her soul speeding in search of Deity’. This is fundamental power indeed and, anticipating his own death, Zephario later gives Candy a second square, before donating his very soul to her as a weapon.

Phil & Sarah Stokes, 2011