Game of Thrones fans will love the New York Times bestselling Abhorsen series. Sabriel, the first installment in the trilogy, launched critically acclaimed author Garth Nix onto the fantasy scene as a rising star.
Since childhood, Sabriel has lived outside the walls of the Old Kingdom, away from the power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead who refuse to stay dead. But now her father, the Abhorson, is missing, and Sabriel must cross into that world to find him. With Mogget, whose feline form hides a powerful, perhaps malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage, Sabriel travels deep into the Old Kingdom. There she confronts an evil that threatens much more than her life and comes face-to-face with her own hidden destiny. . . .
Sabriel is her last year at Wyverley College, a private school in Ancelstierre, where Magic does not work, but near the Border with the Old Kingdom, where it does. She and her father are also highly skilled necromancers, who fight the dead who seek to return to Life. But when her father is somehow trapped in Death, she must journey into the Old Kingdom to find him. She does not know that it is wracked by struggle (like that in Ursula LeGuin's The Farthest Shore)-a magician has brought chaos by refusing to die and hopes to use Sabriel and her father to further consolidate his power. Sabriel goes on a long journey throughout a densely imagined world, learning as she goes, and meeting such strange characters as Mogget, a raging natural force contained in the shape of a cat. She also develops a relationship with Touchstone, a young man who turns out to be as crucially involved as she is. Although Sabriel is possessed of much heavy knowledge ("A year ago, I turned the final page of The Book of the Dead. I don't feel young any more"), she is still a teenager and vulnerable where her father and love for Touchstone are concerned, making her a sympathetic heroine. Rich, complex, involving, hard to put down, this first novel, an Australian import, is excellent high fantasy. The suitably climactic ending leaves no loose ends, but readers will hope for a sequel. Ages 12-up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
It is one of the best books I have ever read.
Garth Nix is a genius!
This story is completely original and somehow still so familiar? The concept of death as a river is pretty common but the way it is written here is just perfect! Nix doesn’t spend any time building the world, he just launches into the story and it is so believable from the first word even though the setting, magic system, and history are completely new. The writing is so effective in keeping the plot moving while still painting this beautiful new world along the way! Probably my favorite book. Should be a classic and I believe everyone should read it.
It makes me quite happy to see all the other glowing reviews here for this amazing book. Each of them is warranted, because this book is that rare book that is so compelling and well-written that you can't put it down, the first read-through or the fifth. I would give it six stars if I could.