Author: Garth Nix
Length: 491 pages
My Rating: 5/5
This is my third time reading this book (or is it the fourth?) and I can still say that it is one of my all-time favorites. There is nothing quite like Sabriel and her sequels, Lirael and Abhorsen. Nix has created a vast, intricate, and fascinating world that sucks you in and dazzles your mind. I first read these books back in middle school and have continued going back to them again and again. Why? Because Garth Nix is a master wordsmith and a superb character designer. Nix’s prose is fluid, lyrical, and beautiful to read. He chooses words within his lines of description and dialogue that enchant the mind. As well, his books hold some of my favorite characters of all time: Mogget, Sabriel, and Touchstone.
Sabriel is a story about an eighteen year old girl who finds herself sucked into a life-endangering mission to save her father, Abhorsen. We quickly learn that Sabriel is gifted in many ways. She’s a talented Charter Mage (magician) and Necromancer. The story opens on Sabriel bringing one of her schoolmate’s pets back to life. She can enter Death and retrieve souls. She can also put the Dead who are wandering in Life back to rest. Sabriel’s father is the Abhorsen–the person whose job it is to lay all Dead to rest and it is a job she will one day inherit from him. When Sabriel’s father misses one of his scheduled visits with her at her school, Sabriel is visited by a Dead sending who brings her the enchanted sword and bell bandolier that her father used.
Sabriel leaves her prestigious school and crosses the Wall that separates the civilized and modern world of Ancelstierre from the Old Kingdom where her father lives and works. Once across the Wall, Sabriel must fight the Dead and their living puppets to rescue her father. Along the way, she encounters Mogget–a feisty Free Magic entity bound in the form of a cat–and Touchstone, a strange and troubled man who has a secret in his past. The three of them fight their way through the Old Kingdom to rescue Sabriel’s father and to lay to rest one of the Greater Dead who is wreaking havoc in the kingdom.
This story is so rich and detailed that you’ll feel like you live in this world. The way in which the bells control the fates of the Living and the Dead is remarkable and extremely memorable. It is likely you’ll never look the same way at bells again!
If you’ve never read this book, go out immediately and check it out from a library or purchase it. You’ll be as much in love with these stories as I am, I promise!
Seek a second opinion:
>> Retro Friday Review: Sabriel by Garth Nix // Angieville
>> Sabriel by Garth Nix // Reading Matters