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10 Reviews Found
I've always loved Sabriel. I read it again now, a lot of years later, and even though I knew from memory most of what was going to happen, I had forgotten the suspense, the feel of the story, and the method that everything just sucks you in! I love hearing about the Charter magic and Free Magic, and Mogget will forever be my favorite character. Very much a look into adulthood--you can think you're prepared, that you're a top-notch student and you know what you're getting into, but putting those theories into practice are seldom as simple as you think it's going to be, and the responsibilities of the world--whether as an Abhorsen or simply as a human being--can often come forth at a amazing cost and at the worst possible time.
I picked up the Kindle edition of Garth Nix's Sabriel to fulfill a "Dark Fantasy" requirement of a reading challenge. I believe it did fulfill that role, technically, although it didn't feel that "dark" to me.I'm not a believer in plot summaries full of spoilers in reviews, so I'll test to avoid too much of that. Sabriel does with necromancy and the dead quite a bit, which is why I believe it falls into the Dark Fantasy subgenre. That being said, the overall tone of the book is not dark although the heroine does face constant difficulties and challenges.I would note this book is sort of in a crossover zone of YA and Adult Fantasy. The heroine has just graduated from school and is fairly immediately pulled into a "fate of the world" type situation. Also, although there is a tip of romance in the plot, it's extremely minor and there is nothing explicit to the romance at all. With these two factors in mind, I see why it's often considered YA, but I would not allow that stop you from reading it even if you generally avoid YA books.I like that the magic system and universe is unique. The necromancy in this book is well fleshed out and is more focused on putting the dead to rest or keeping them dead rather than raising the dead. The necromancy is only one facet of the magic system, with at least two other fairly interesting magic systems at work (Charter and Free), as well as some nifty magical constructs. The cast of characters is fairly little but the characters that do appear are interesting and well developed.Overall I really enjoyed this read and look forward to reading the sequels. I do think that if I'd first read this when I was younger I would have absolutely adored it. As an adult I still liked it quite a bit! It looks like there are also a lot of other short stories, novellas, and novels set in the same universe (The Old Kingdom/Ancelstierre).
I have loved this series for years, and I encourage all newcomers to jump into this globe Garth Nix created. It has a quick pace without being rushed. A well built globe that is a mix of magic and science, though the magic is only found in the old Kingdom and close to the wall that divides the two realms. In the far distant past bloodlines were formed that represented the greatest aspects of magic in the world. This story introduces you to 3 of them, the Abhorsen line of necromancers, the Ruling family line, and the Clayr who are gifted with an inner sight. The main focus is with the Abhorsen and the Ruling descendants battling a not good foe, and attempting to heal a devastated Kingdom. I can hardly do the story justice here, just begin reading!
I randomly picked up this book at a used bookstore, it was missing both front and back cover. Only thing I was able to see was the name: Sabriel. I had no idea what the book was about or even what kind of book it was. Thankfully I was bored out of my mind, and something about reading a book I had no idea what was seemed like a little adventure. Haha, but enough about that. I'm so glad that I gave this book a chance. Sweet, fun and very interesting. Admittedly it is a book for young adults, but still it gave me enormous pleasure. The globe is so interesting and well place together, the dead that refuse to stay dead is actually quite scary. Magic system is very intriguing as well. It is also interesting with some of the characters that are good, but at the same time you feel like you cant count on them to stay so. This gives the book a additional layer in my opinion. I read all the books in this series, I must admit that Sabriel was the one that struck a cord with me the most, but all the books are truly enjoyable and you should definitely give it a go. Thumbs up! :)
Garth Nix's "Sabriel" is an enjoyable story about a young woman who is thrown into the responsibility of keeping the Dead "dead" by the sudden and unexpected death of her father, the previous Abhorsen. A riveting coming of age tale with lots of action, magic and even a love story thrown in, "Sabriel" kept me interested until the latest page. I am happy to have found another fantasy writer whose prose flows beautifully, and whose intricate and fully-imagined globe building gave me hours and hours of enjoyable reading. My only criticism is that this seemed more a YA novel, than an adult fantasy -- something I would have preferred when I was younger-- and I [email protected]#$%! had been more carefully described as such.
I bought this when it was on unique and picked it up without knowing beautiful much anything about it. But it drew me in quickly and after I finished, I immediately bought the next volume, and those are two amazing indicators in terms of how I should rate a e protagonist, Sabriel, hails from a put called the Old Kingdom but has grown up and been educated in a boarding school across a Wall demarcating the Old Kingdom from a put that sounds a lot like the England of right around WWI (electric lights and telephones were available, and tanks had just been invented). This is very much a coming-of-age story, even though Sabriel has just finished her schooling (and so might be considered an adult). She has lived a fairly sheltered life at the school but is suddenly place into a position where she must venture out into the (to her) unknown Old such, Sabriel is a amazing proxy for the reader for exploring the Old Kingdom. She knows a little, but has been protected from much more. She realizes quickly how small about the Old Kingdom, or even about magic, she knows, and that makes her sympathetic (however, it seems with the appropriate amount of help, she can easily overcome her limitations). She has a couple of companions on her quest -- a cat who is not what he seems, and a young man who goes by the name of Touchstone. You do learn a bit more about each of them, as well, as the story goes on.I felt like Sabriel's story followed a common pattern -- a young person is forced into undertaking a quest she's not really ready for, and yet she's the only person who can complete it. She rebels versus it, but it's her destiny. (In Sabriel's case, rebellion largely involves refusing to be called by a title that is rightfully hers, and also in defining the quest as a mission to save her father when really something else is going on, too.)My favorite part in this book was the journey. There is a lot of traveling and exploration. Normally I hate such things, but they were done really well here, and the surroundings changed in a method that constantly presented fresh challenges, which is something most authors don't obtain right. (I feel that Mr. Nix DID obtain it right, though.) This was a sort of globe where I was interested in learning about the environment and history, and I thought it was nicely woven in to the overarching story. This also speaks to worldbuilding, of course, which I thought was quite good.I don't have much to say about the writing. For me, anyway, it slid into the background and did its job of telling the story without being obnoxious. There were no repeated tics or verbal crutches that jumped out at gic was interesting and well-developed. There seemed to be three sorts. Charter Magic is basically the amazing (orderly?) items and can be used for protection, healing, etc. Necromancy can be amazing or bad, depending on who is wielding it and to what purpose (e.g., raising an troops of the Dead or sending the Dead back into Death where they belong), and Necromancy can be constrained by Charter Magic. Free Magic is wild and perhaps unpredictable but can be harnessed. There are also some people who can see the future, but that may be an ability conferred by Charter Magic.A few things didn't work for me, but they weren't dealbreakers. There is a romance that was predictable from a mile off and, in my mind, not set up as much as it should have been. Also, and I'm still not sure how I feel about this, but the final confrontation was odd. It was more of a series of tasks/confrontations. One takes put in Death and was over too quickly for my liking. The feeling of fear was never really all that palpable for me as few to no obstacles were encountered. The next confrontation follows immediately on its heels and I did feel there was a small more at stake, but it is also over quickly. The third confrontation was the biggest, and even in itself consisted of two incidents at separate sites. There were casualties, but I was never really in doubt that certain parties would survive. I did think the final resolution was clever and nicely set up based on happenings earlier in the book.Overall, I was invested enough in the characters to see the book through (and quickly, I might add). I loved the globe building and the journey and all the small info like the different bells used in Necromancy. I thought the magic system was amazing and I think there is a lot of potential for the future books that are set in this world.
Sabriel is the first book in the brilliant Old Kingdom series and draws you in with it's creative use of exotic names and globe building. The writing is splendid and evokes chills in this reader, and it is simple to imagine this story would be awesome on the huge screen if directed by someone truly talented such as Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy, etc). The times that Abhorsen or Sabriel struggle versus the currents of water passing through the gates of death are especially horrifying, and so brilliantly painted by Nix that, I for one will always see, feel and hear the struggles and the peal of the bells as described in these is book and the sequels in this series are really special and highly recommended reading, as are all the books written by Garth n't allow any of the negative reviews dissuade you from reading any of them.