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Sabriel by Garth Nix

Sabriel (1995)

by Garth Nix

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Old Kingdom / Abhorsen ( 1)

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6,707201557 (4.21)357
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» See also 357 mentions

English (199)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (202)
Showing 1-5 of 199 (next | show all)
2.5 | 5

First read as a teenager; could never recall what I thought of this, other than my three-starred option hastily added when I arrived at GoodReads. The story was not developed enough, and the characters were fairly clichéd (and the terrible moment of realisation between Sabriel and Touchstone and their "love" was horrific), but otherwise, it was enjoyable and I can see why I liked it all those years ago. ( )
  Xleptodactylous | Apr 7, 2015 |
In the Old Kingdom the dead need some help staying dead. The Abhorsen, a kind of super-necromancer, is the sole person charged with the knowledge and power of the Great Charter to do this. There is only ever one Abhorsen at a time. Sabriel hasn't quite graduated from her school, over the wall from the Old Kingdom, in Ancelstierre--a quirkily contemporary-ish world--when she is called to a rescue her father, currently the Abhorsen. The dead, naturally, feed on the living to gain strength, and they are running riot in the Old Kingdom. But a truly powerful entity of the Great Dead (there are many many categories and many gates one must pass through before being really and truly dead enough not to return) has returned and might just take over the Old Kingdom if Sabriel can't stop him. There is a handsome prince and a cat that isn't at all what it appears to be. It all works. I found myself thinking that there is something dead about those who are simply power-hungry to no other purpose than to dominate. The magic here is fresh and while it observes many familiar magical conventions, Nix does so with a fresh take and offers a few new contributions (the bells). So on to book 2 which deals with another branch of the Lines of the Great Charter. **** ( )
  sibyx | Jan 30, 2015 |
Sabriel is the first book in The Old Kingdom Series by Garth Nix.

A large wall separates the Old Kingdom from Ancelstierre. But it’s more than just a geographical separation: there is magic in the Olde Kingdom, Ancelstierre on the other hand relies on technology. Sabriel is from the Old Kingdom but goes to school just south of the wall in Ancelstierre because her father wanted to make sure she was safe. In the Old Kingdom she wouldn’t have been since her father is the Abhorsen: a necromancer charged with making sure that the dead stay dead. But then the Abhorsen goes missing and it is down to Sabriel to find him before the dead overrun both countries.

I had been meaning to re-read the entire series for a while, but when it was announced that a prequel was about to be published, I had to re-read it immediately. Sometimes I just make really good decisions because Sabriel is still as awesome as I remember it to be.

Read more on my blog: http://kalafudra.com/2014/10/31/re-read-sabriel-garth-nix/ ( )
  kalafudra | Jan 26, 2015 |
RGG: High fantasy. Beautifully written with the sensibility of Ursula LeGuin's Earth-Sea series. Also the battle with Death has a certain ring to Harry Potter versus Valdemort. Reading Interest: YA.
  rgruberexcel | Nov 14, 2014 |
RGG: High fantasy. Beautifully written with the sensibility of Ursula LeGuin's Earth-Sea series. Also the battle with Death has a certain ring to Harry Potter versus Valdemort. Reading Interest: YA.
  rgruberexcel | Oct 29, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 199 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Garth Nixprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Curry, TimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kattelus, KaisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
It was little more than three miles from the Wall into the Old Kingdom, but that was enough.
Sabriel digested this in silence, staring at the swirls of fish and sauce on her plate, silver scales and red tomato blurring into a pattern of swords and fire. The table blurred too, and the room beyond, and she felt herself reaching for the border with Death. But try as she might, she couldn’t cross it. She sensed it, but there was no way to cross, in either direction – Abhorsen’s House was too well protected. But she did feel something at the border. Inimical things lurked there, waiting for her to cross, but there was also the faintest thread of something familiar, like the scent of a woman’s perfume after she has left the room, or the waft of a particular pipe tobacco around a corner. Sabriel focused on it and threw herself once more at the barrier that separated her from Death. -- p.73
The marks became silver blades as they left her hand, mind and voice, flashing through the air swifter than any thrown dagger. -- p. 107
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Sabriel, the daughter of the Abhorsen (a 'lawfully-good' necromancer charged with putting the dead back into death) finds herself on a journey to find out what happened to her father after she is sent his necromancer's tools. At her father's house she meets a cat with strange and dangerous abilities, the sarcastic Mogget. She soon takes up her quest as an Abhorsen and finds that looking for her father is looking for trouble as she accepts her fate. But evil waits for her in Death...
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0064471837, Mass Market Paperback)

After receiving a cryptic message from her father, Abhorsen, a necromancer trapped in Death, 18-year-old Sabriel sets off into the Old Kingdom. Fraught with peril and deadly trickery, her journey takes her to a world filled with parasitical spirits, Mordicants, and Shadow Hands. Unlike other necromancers, who raise the dead, Abhorsen lays the disturbed dead back to rest. This obliges him--and now Sabriel, who has taken on her father's title and duties--to slip over the border into the icy river of Death, sometimes battling the evil forces that lurk there, waiting for an opportunity to escape into the realm of the living. Desperate to find her father, and grimly determined to help save the Old Kingdom from destruction by the horrible forces of the evil undead, Sabriel endures almost impossible exhaustion, violent confrontations, and terrifying challenges to her supernatural abilities--and her destiny.

Garth Nix delves deep into the mystical underworld of necromancy, magic, and the monstrous undead. This tale is not for the faint of heart; imbedded in the classic good-versus-evil story line are subplots of grisly ghouls hungry for human life to perpetuate their stay in the world of the living, and dark, devastating secrets of betrayal and loss. Just try to put this book down. For more along this line, try Nix's later novel: Shade's Children. (Ages 12 and older) --Emilie Coulter

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:44:10 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Sabriel, daughter of the necromancer Abhorsen, must journey into the mysterious and magical Old Kingdom to rescue her father from the Land of the Dead.

» see all 6 descriptions

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