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Sabriel by Garth Nix
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Sabriel (1995)

by Garth Nix

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Old Kingdom / Abhorsen (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,204218494 (4.21)386
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» See also 386 mentions

English (216)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (219)
Showing 1-5 of 216 (next | show all)
I didn't get into this book until it was nearly over, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I might try the next book in the series eventually. ( )
  imahorcrux | Jun 22, 2016 |
Sabriel was sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young girl. As she is about to graduate Sabriel hears news that her father, the Abhorsen, has gone missing. Sensing that something isn't right, Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him. Having little experience with Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead, Sabriel sets off on an adventure that will pit her against the forces of life and death and brings her face-to-face with her own destiny.

Sabriel by Garth Nix is the first book in The Abhorson trilogy. The story opens fairly ominously with the death of a woman and child. The series of events that unfolds in the prologue grabs the attention and sets the stage nicely. We are introduced to two of the world's types of magic, given a little foreshadowing for what's to come and a slightly eerie tone is set. Once the story starts, we're gradually introduced to the world. Ancelstierre has a feeling of 1940's England while the Old Kingdom feels distinctly like medieval Europe where Free Magics and creatures that go bump in the night now reign. The two kingdoms are separated by a wall and crossing the border is like taking a portal to another world where even the weather is different. And, quite naturally, that wall is failing.

The characters we get to know are also excellent. Sabriel is a great fantasy heroine. She's a smart, clear headed, strong and a well balanced character. She looks at problems logically to make informed decisions and isn't afraid to take action. Touchstone starts off fairly annoying. It's obvious that he's more than just a guardsman and his servile attitude at first is grating. I'm glad the character out grows this habit as the story progresses. Nix had a lot of fun with Mogget. Mogget is the perfect magical entity in the form of a feline that both says and does things I can imagine a cat would.

The story is well paced. The action and suspense is superb. The final climax had me sitting on the edge of my seat the entire time. I love the eerie/creepy undertone that is carried throughout the book. It's exactly what you'd expect when dealing with the dead that don't want to stay dead. Nix has a refreshing take on necromantic magic that was quite fun to read. There is even an understated romance plot that is quite sweet and not at all like today's YA stories of instant love.

I listened to the audio book of this narrated by Tim Curry. I think I could listen to Tim Curry read from the dictionary! He is especially fun at narrating villains and magical creatures. That said, his depiction of a young girl's voice at the beginning of the story is so bad I laughed out loud. ( )
  Narilka | Jun 19, 2016 |
I keep falling in love with this book. No matter how many times I read Sabriel. ( )
  DaffiMere | Jun 16, 2016 |
Sabriel by Garth Nix
3 stars
Sabriel lives in a world where magic and necromancy exist in tandem with a “real” England that appears to be early 20th century. She is a mage and an hereditary necromancer whose job is to vanquish the evil forces of death. Nix has created elaborate overlapping societies with rules and rituals of magic. There are magical creatures and creations, a little romance and a climatic battle between good and evil. Sabriel is a kind of fantasy fiction that I would have found very appealing 25 years ago. I think Garth Nix is considered to be a YA author. I came across some of his other books on the youth shelf at Borders.
This was an audio book narrated by Tim Curry whose lovely voice kept me listening even though I felt strongly that I have long outgrown this genre.
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
Terrific fantasy novel with an interesting and strong heroine. ( )
  NTG_Library | May 22, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 216 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (29 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Garth Nixprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Curry, TimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, DianeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kattelus, KaisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Villari Gerli, FabriziaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my family and friends.
First words
It was little more than three miles from the Wall into the Old Kingdom, but that was enough.
Quotations
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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:44 -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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