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Sabriel by Garth Nix

Sabriel (original 1995; edition 2008)

by Garth Nix

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,877211530 (4.21)368
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)

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» See also 368 mentions

English (209)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (212)
Showing 1-5 of 209 (next | show all)
Okay I liked the story but I feel like it was too long for me to listen to as an audio book. And some of Tim Curry's voices were much too silly. But I like Sabriel and Touchstone, they are both extremely interesting and I am wondering what is in store for them next. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
Okay I liked the story but I feel like it was too long for me to listen to as an audio book. And some of Tim Curry's voices were much too silly. But I like Sabriel and Touchstone, they are both extremely interesting and I am wondering what is in store for them next. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
Okay I liked the story but I feel like it was too long for me to listen to as an audio book. And some of Tim Curry's voices were much too silly. But I like Sabriel and Touchstone, they are both extremely interesting and I am wondering what is in store for them next. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
So, I remember when I was younger and when I was at the library I would almost always pick up these books... and then promptly put them back, frustrated because i could not figure out which one was first. I remember even expressing my frustration to my mom and her telling me to just read them out of order. I simply cannot do that. I refuse to read books out of order in a series.However, I could not for the life of me figure out which one was first... So... eventually i just forgot about them, until one day my friend here at school was talking about them and asking if i had read them... which i hadn't... because they were the-books-that-were-forever-alluding-me.

So, I finally got my hands on the first one (and it IS the first one. trust me. i checked.) and was actually a bit surprised to learn what it was about. Essentially, this is a story about necromancers. Why I never read it when I was younger continues to baffle me. This is, literally, the perfect book for me. Maybe it's good that it's taken me this long to read it, I probably would have been marginally uncomfortable if I had read it when i was younger (uncomfortable because i would be LOVING IT and then thinking WAIT I SHOULDN'T ENJOYING THIS, SHOULD I? That was actually the majority of my childhood. haha.)
The story basically throws the concept at you right off, if the idea of necromancy makes you uncomfortable, well these aren't for you right off, unless you want to see it done in a way that is genius.
The story focuses on Sabriel, the daughter of Abhorsen. The Abhorsen, in fact, but that gets a bit confusing in there what with names and titles and such. She's brought up in Ancelstierre, the kingdom that borders the Old Kingdom. Ancelstierre is more advanced, with its cars and lightbulbs and guns. The Old Kingdom is the more fantasy like setting of the story, and most of the novel takes place in the Old Kingdom when Sabriel crosses over to search for her missing father.
The plot is all very deep and complicated and I don't really want to give it all away, so i'm just going to fangirl over the magic system. Magic in the Old Kingdom is run through Charter Marks and Charter mages use the marks to use their magic. Free magic is magic that is used outside the charter, it's typically associated with rogue mages. The Abhorsen uses five bells to perform their magic. Each bell has a specific task that associates with the dead. In this, necromancy isn't so much raising the dead, but making sure the dead stay dead. Keeping the dead where they belong. It's brilliant, really. It's actually the perfect book. I've been looking for a book that does necromancy right for forever now and I can't believe that I've found it with these books that have been alluding me for years.
The story is just brilliant. There are only a handful of characters and yet it all is so rich. There's so much too it even though it's not huge or very long. The world is just so expansive and feel like you only get a taste of how big it truly is.
I love all the characters that we do see. Sabriel is perfect. She's strong and takes up her task even though its hard and she frequently wants to give up because she feels that she isn't ready. Mogget confused me, a bit, i couldn't quite grasp the point of his character, but i enjoyed his inclusion nonetheless. Touchstone drove me crazy for the first half of the book, but i do admit i liked him. Even though he was technically a Charter mage, I like the warrior/mage dynamic that he had with Sabriel.
Basically, if i hadn't had school slowing me down, it probably would have taken me a day to read this. I really want nothing more than to dive into the second one (the book i bought has the entire trilogy in one. it's gorgeous), but i know that with school it will be slow reading. I can't wait to read further though, i'm so glad i finally picked these books up and read them because i can easily say that Sabriel is one of my new favourite books. I adored it. ( )
  glitzandshadows | Oct 12, 2015 |
@sabriel ( )
  Lorem | Sep 28, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 209 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (31 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Garth Nixprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Curry, TimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kattelus, KaisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Villari Gerli, FabriziaTranslatorsecondary 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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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)

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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)

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