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

Book 3 of 4 in the Abhorsen Trilogy Series

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Product Details

  • Series: The Abhorsen Trilogy (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; 1 edition (January 7, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060278250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060278250
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (370 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,305,057 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-Garth Nix's trilogy comes to a dramatic and apocalyptic close, with all the clever plot twists and inventive voicings by Tim Curry that made Sabriel and Lirael (both 2002) award winners. In this segment, both Sabriel and Lirael, the latter now elevated to the powerful rank of Abhorsen (a kind of magician) in Nix's parallel world, have important roles-but so do Sabriel's son Sam, Mog the cat, and a ubiquitous and charming creature known affectionately as the "disreputable dog." Nix's imagined world seems to be situated near the time of our own turn from 19th to 20th century, the perfect backdrop for a classic theme, played out refreshingly within this story: the perils and the promises of technology. Magic, the antithesis of human ingenuity, flows both for the good and against it. The forces of evil are able to swell the ranks of their army through the recycling of dead folks into almost-invulnerable foot soldiers. Besides death and the good vs evil struggle, another folk motif brought into focus here is that of friendship: Sam's lifelong friend, Nicholas, literally must lay down his life in the course of the action. Abhorsen is an excellent denouement for a fantasy that is both literary and popularly accessible. Out loud, the powers of this future classic are intensified, especially through Curry's inspired dramatization.
Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

I just got this book today and I have finished reading it already.
All questions are answered from the books and Nix gives a little cliffhanger of sorts in the end that I am hoping will come up in Clariel.
Abigail King
Garth Nix makes you feel for his world and his characters that he has created.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 77 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
Garth Nix delves into the dark heart of high fantasy in the Abhorsen Trilogy, three interconnected fantasies about a family of necromancers who lay the dead -- and forces of evil -- to rest. Humour, detailed writing and deep characters, along with a richly-realize world, make this a classic-in-the-making.

"Sabriel" is the story of a teenage girl living happily at a girl's school, while her necromancer father (the Abhorsen) roams around putting the dead to rest. All that changes when a sending brings her father's sword and bells, meaning that he is dead or incapacitated. So Sabriel takes on her father's duties, accompanied by a Free Magic cat and a mysterious young prince, and battles the specter of a horrible evil creature that is reaching out from death to snare her.

"Lirael" takes us to the cold citadel of the Clayr, a race of seers. Young Lirael is depressed because she doesn't have the gift of Sight yet, even though everybody else her age does. But things take a sinister turn when she sets a horrifying, bloodthirsty creature loose, and must work -- with the help of the mysterious Disreputable Dog -- to get rid of it. But what Lirael doesn't know is that the outside world is in danger too, from a sinister new enemy.

"Abhorsen" brings the series to an explosive conclusion. Lirael and her nephew Sameth -- along with "cat" Mogget and the Disreputable Dog -- are in danger from the Dead. What's more, the Destroyer Orannis has escaped from his prison and is being assisted by an evil necromancer and the Dead called Chlorr -- and an unfortunate pal of Sameth's. Now Lirael must call on her destiny as the future Abhorsen, and kill the Destroyer.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Lovitt HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on January 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
For those of you who feel that dragons, unicorns, and bards are a bit overdone nowadays, this fantasy trilogy offers up a heroine who binds the dead with a bandolier of bells. The Geography of Death is lovingly delineated, from the prologue where Sabriel is born and dies and is rescued from the First Gate of Death by her father, to the third book in the trilogy, where the new Abhorsen braves Death in the form of a river, a waterfall, pools of black water, strange currents that suck the spirit from the flesh.

Sabriel herself is an English schoolgirl, recently graduated from Wyverley Academy with a "first in English, equal first in Music, third in Mathematics, seventh in Science, second in Fighting Arts and fourth in Etiquette. She had also been a runaway first in Magic..." A visitation from the Dead sends Sabriel on a quest through the magical Old Kingdom, in order to reunite her father's body with his spirit which is trapped within the Fourth Gate of Death. She has to do battle with a really nasty necromancer-Adept, and rescue a prince who is a bit of a figurehead at first but who finally develops into a memorable character in his own right.

Sabriel is both helped and hindered by a very non-cuddly cat named Mogget.

"Lirael" is the middle book this remarkable fantasy series. If I ever die and go to fantasy heaven, I hope it resembles Nix's immense library beneath glacier and mountain, where each door opens into a separate mystery. In the catacombs beneath the library, Lirael discovers how to turn herself into an ice otter or a barking owl, reads "The Book of Remembrance and Forgetting", and duels with the monstrous Stilken.

However, "Lirael" isn't just about Lirael.
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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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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Disreputable Dog on December 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
Words cannot express my love for this trilogy. I first discovered "Sabriel" when I was 12 years old and browsing a small corner of my school's library dedicated to "teen" books. Sabriel stood out to me in a way that no other book has - or probably ever will - and I soon devoured it with a passion. Soon after, Garth Nix released the novel's two sequels ("Lirael" and "Abhorsen") and to this day I consider the Abhorsen trilogy to be my favorite fantasy series (this coming from someone who loves Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings as well).

The main character of two of the three novels is Lirael, a young woman who is somewhat of an outcast among Clayr society (women who can see the future). Lirael has never been gifted with the Sight, and in a way is shunned from the society she lives in. To make matters worse, her mother abandoned Lirael when she was just five years old, and her Aunt Kirrith - the only family Lirael has left - pays little attention to her. However, Lirael has a gift that the Clayr do not: instead of looking into the future, Lirael is a Remembrancer, someone who can see the past. In Lirael and Abhorsen, Lirael must learn to accept her gift, because she is the only one who can discover how to stop Orranis, the Destroyer. With her friends Prince Sameth, the Disreputable Dog, and Mogget, Lirael journeys to stop Orranis before it is too late.

Of course, Sabriel (the main character of the first novel who also has a minor role in the other two) cannot be overlooked. She is more accepting of her destiny than Lirael is, and is also one of the strongest female heroines that I have ever read. She is certainly someone that young readers (such as my 12-year-old self) can look up to.
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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.

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