Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Sabriel by Garth Nix

Sabriel (original 1995; edition 2008)

by Garth Nix

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,249222491 (4.21)388
Authors:Garth Nix
Info:HarperTeen (2008), Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:listsofbests to get
Tags:unowned, listsofbests, readingrants, teenreads.com ultimate reading list

Work details

Sabriel by Garth Nix (1995)

  1. 211
    The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) by Philip Pullman (staram)
  2. 171
    A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin (wosret)
  3. 131
    Lirael by Garth Nix (xavierroy)
  4. 132
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Book 1) by J. K. Rowling (wosret, darzzled)
  5. 90
    The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper (electronicmemory)
    electronicmemory: Both books have beautifully written prose, elegantly sketched worlds, and stories that stay with you long after you've finished. Two young protagonists must face overwhelming dark forces as they struggle with isolation from their peers and allies.… (more)
  6. 40
    The Naming by Alison Croggon (geophile)
  7. 20
    Cart and Cwidder and Drowned Ammet by Diana Wynne Jones (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: Both titles involve musical instruments (cwidder in one, bells in the other) which have extraordinary magical powers in the correct hands.
  8. 20
    The Ropemaker by Peter Dickinson (cammykitty)
  9. 20
    Green Rider by Kristen Britain (geophile)
  10. 20
    Poison by Chris Wooding (cmbohn)
    cmbohn: Features a strong female protagonist, some creepy characters, and great combat.
  11. 21
    Tithe by Holly Black (wosret)
  12. 10
    Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: The roles of Chrestomanci and Abhorsen are similar- magicians who police the use of magic. Both books feature their protagonists growing into these roles.
  13. 10
    The Sacrifice by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (wosret)
  14. 21
    The Raven Ring by Patricia C. Wrede (ut.tecum.loquerer)
  15. 00
    Radiant by Karina Sumner-Smith (sandstone78)
  16. 00
    Graceling by Kristin Cashore (ajwseven)
  17. 00
    The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman (Morteana)
  18. 00
    Geist by Philippa Ballantine (Rubbah)
  19. 00
    Ghost Ocean by Shawn M. Peters (infiniteletters)
  20. 12
    The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (MinaKelly)

(see all 20 recommendations)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 388 mentions

English (219)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (222)
Showing 1-5 of 219 (next | show all)
Ok. Took me a while to "get into" the world, but this was really quite enjoyable. I really enjoyed the character building and - while I still don't really feel *part* of the Abhorsen world, I look forward to the rest of the trilogy. ( )
  benuathanasia | Aug 11, 2016 |
Does the walker chose the path, or the path the walker? ( )
  thebookmagpie | Aug 7, 2016 |
I REALLY wanted to love this. The blurbs and summaries looked good. I love Tim Curry (he narrates the Audible version). But I just didn't care about the characters. The magic system/necromancy was just weird and not explained well.
Sadly, returning for my credit back at Audible. ( )
  KnivesBoone | Jul 29, 2016 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 219 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» 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
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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.
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
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
34 avail.
204 wanted
3 pay6 pay

Popular covers


Average: (4.21)
0.5 2
1 17
1.5 2
2 60
2.5 23
3 284
3.5 89
4 682
4.5 111
5 947


3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 108,343,349 books! | Top bar: Always visible