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Abhorsen (The Abhorsen Trilogy) Hardcover – January 7, 2003

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Product Details

  • Series: The Abhorsen Trilogy
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; 1 edition (January 7, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060278250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060278250
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (199 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,480,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An explosive prologue sets the stage for Nix's riveting continuation of the story begun in Sabriel and Lirael. While newcomers might find the intricate plotting and the rituals of the Charter Magic off-putting at first, Nix rewards their efforts. Returning characters Lirael, former Second Assistant Librarian of the Clayr and now an Abhorsen-in-Waiting (the Abhorsen's "birthright and charge [is] to maintain the borders of Life and Death"), and her nephew, Prince Sameth, along with Disreputable Dog and the mysterious white cat, Mogget, are ensorcelled in the Abhorsen House by a Dead creature, Chlorr of the Mask, who is in league with the evil necromancer Hedge. They break out to try and rescue Sam's old friend, Nicholas Sayre, who has been tricked by Hedge into digging up Orannis, the Destroyer; if Hedge's plan succeeds, the evil now contained by two separate hemispheres will join and annihilate all life. The grotesque imagery of the Death realm provides a haunting note, which Nix offsets by the brightness of the main characters' quest to defeat the Destroyer. At once an allegory regarding war and peace and a testament to friendship, this thought-provoking fantasy also resolves the true identities of the popular Dog and Mogget characters-and suggests that Nix may still have more tricks up his sleeve. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up-The long-awaited confrontation between the evil necromancer Hedge and Abhorsen-in-Waiting Lirael and her nephew Sameth finally takes place in this conclusion to Nix's trilogy. Fans were left hanging at the end of Lirael (HarperCollins, 2001) as they learned that Hedge had magically enslaved a horde of the newly dead and Sam's friend Nick to help him dig up Orannis, a powerful Free Magic being who intended to destroy all life in the Kingdom. Long ago, Orannis had been broken in two and buried deep beneath the earth and Nick has discovered a way to join the two pieces to release him. All the characters from the previous books are here, but Lirael and Sam dominate the action. Lirael is destined to travel into death to find out how Orannis was defeated before and to try to find out how to defeat him once again. The experience leaves her scathed but stronger, and she finds her family, heritage, and her place in the world. Readers discover the real identities of the Disreputable Dog and the cat Mogget but Lirael's mother's actions still remain unsatisfactorily explained. Lirael and Sam have gained confidence in themselves and in their abilities in this title. There are also fewer surprises here, but Nix maintains the nonstop action, imaginative magical descriptions, and high level of violence of the previous titles. It is essential to read the series in order. There is a resolution, but the ending hints that this may not be the last story about the Old Kingdom. Fans will be overjoyed.
Sharon Rawlins, Piscataway Public Library, NJ
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Garth Nix has worked as a bookseller, book sales representative, publicist, editor, marketing consultant and literary agent. He also spent five years as a part-time soldier in the Australian Army Reserve. A full-time writer since 2001, more than five million copies of his books have been sold around the world and his work has been translated into 40 languages. Garth's books have appeared on the bestseller lists of The New York Times, Publishers Weekly (US), The Bookseller(UK), The Australian and The Sunday Times (UK). He lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife and two children.

Customer Reviews

Garth Nix is a wonderful writer.
sara romero
Nix does bring magic to his characters and does it realistically which makes reading about Lirael, Sam, The Disreputable Dog, and Mogget, so enjoyable and believable.
T. J. Jones
This book is fast paced and action packed.
kat lovur

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Tar-Palantir on January 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Abhorsen starts out with a bang (literally) and only gets better as the story progresses. This book is truly a worthy successor to Sabriel and Lirael.
As readers of Lirael will remember, Nicholas Sayre and Hedge the necromancer are digging for the two silver spheres that bind Orannis, the Destroyer. Releasing Orannis will mean, effectively, the end of the world. So, all Lirael, Prince Sameth, and company must do is stop them.
Of course, that couldn't be any harder, for they face legions of Dead, Chlorr of the Mask, Hedge, and Orannis himself, who was once the strongest of the Nine Bright Shiners.
This volume also finally reveals the true natures of Mogget and the Disreputable Dog, and the gifts of Lirael and Sameth.
The whole book is tremendously exciting, building up to a climactic battle that is one of the best I have ever read, reminiscent of the Battle of the Pelennor Fields from The Lord of the Rings.
Abhorsen is simply an awesome fantasy book. It is one of the few I deem worthy to be kept on the same shelf as The Lord of the Rings. I highly recommend it to all readers who have read the previous volumes.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Lovitt HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on January 19, 2003
Format: Library Binding Verified Purchase
As in "Sabriel" and "Lirael," Death is a riverine chasm from which the dead can be called back to the living by powerful necromancers. Only the Abhorsen (Sabriel) or the Abhorsen-in-waiting (Lirael) can pass from life into the river of Death, through the eight Gates of fog, whirlpools, waterfalls, and shadow, and do magical combat with the necromancers in their own dark realm...
Well, the Disreputable Dog can splash into Death, too and in "Abhorsen" you'll find out who she really is, along with Mogget the bad-tempered cat (who reminds me of some of the grouchier Jack Lemon characters).
"Abhorsen" is a worthy conclusion to Nix's Old Kingdom trilogy. Read "Sabriel" and "Lirael" before undertaking "Abhorsen," so that you can familiarize yourself with the Philosophy and Geography of Death. Nix isn't into summarization or repetition. He plunges his reader right into a whirlpool of death, animated corpses, and Charter magic. If you don't already know such characters as the Disreputable Dog, the necromancer Hedge, or his bone-headed companion, Nick, you might never figure out what's going on.
This book is a direct continuation of "Lirael," with the ex-assistant librarian and her companion, Prince Sameth carrying on the battle against Hedge and the evil he is digging up at Red Lake. Although Prince Sameth was meant to be the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, heir to the powers of 'The Book of the Dead' and the seven bells, Lirael now takes up that role, and Sam seeks his destiny as a descendant of the mysterious Wallmakers, who built the barrier between the magical Old Kingdom and the mundane kingdom of Ancelstierre. The two will need all of the magic they can conjure up against an enemy that threatens not only the Charter, but all living beings.
Read more ›
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By kat lovur on March 26, 2003
Format: Library Binding
This is a wonderful book that draws you in from the very first words. It is about a young woman named Lirael, not sure about her place in life, until she found her nephew Prince Sameth and she became the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, Prince Sameth inheriting the power of the Wallmakers. Sameth and Lirael, accompanied by the Disreputable Dog and the Free Magic being in the shape of a cat ,Mogget,then set out to travel and save Sam's friend, Nick, who has unconsciously gottten himself mised up in the mess happening near the Red Lake. The necromancer Hedge ,accompanied by Chlorr of the Mask and several thousand Dead Hands, are digging up the silver hemispheres which hold the Ninth Bright Shiner, Orannis, prisoner. Lirael and her companions must get across the Wall to Nick 's LIghting Farm in time to stop the joining of the hemispheres which could mean the end of all life. Sam and Lirael face many difficulties on their way to Edge and even into Ancelstierre. But their strength as Charter Mages helps them along the way, along with the Dog and Mogget.The true identities of the Dog and Mogget are revealed along with several other shocking revelations. This book is fast paced and action packed. I would reccomend this book to everyone. It even leaves a little room at the end for your imagination, or possibly another book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By N. Andersen TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
Unlike Sabriel, which stands alone as a complete novel, Lirael ends on a cliffhanger, with its completion in Abhorsen. This is not a complaint, since the same can be said of the Lord of the Rings trilogy as a whole. But it is to say that while you might read the last two novels without reading the first, you can't read this one without reading Lirael.

More significantly, though, than the continuity of plot in the last two novels, is that the last two novels complete the cosmological implications of the first novel -- elevating this world and its story to something more than merely a cool or interesting place (more than a fantasy), and into the status of significant myth. What I mean by that, is that the story begins to take on larger dimensions than merely a story of a few interesting characters in an interesting world. It becomes a story of the contrast between order and chaos (a dimension in every founding myth), and of the tension between different kinds of order (a tyranny and a democracy are both ordered states). It also becomes (especially in Abhorsen) a profound meditation on the metaphysical dimensions of freedom: something to be seen, for example, in the contrast between the "Disreputable Dog" and the "cat" Mogget (whereas the cat is a "free magic" creature who is bound against his will by the charter; the dog is apparently a free magic creature who has taken upon herself the charter, submitting herself to its ordering principles). While there is a sense in which this is a classic story of the struggle of good against evil, these underlying tensions make it much more interesting. The story thus raises philosophical questions like: is genuine freedom to be unbound? is mastery the only form of power? is order better than chaos? More than just a great read and a well told story, this trilogy aims to provide subtle and interesting answers to such questions.
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