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Sabriel (Old Kingdom) Mass Market Paperback – August 23, 1997
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The story starts with a flashback in which a special necromancer named Abhorsen saves his baby daughter Sabriel from a creature called Kerrigor, in the spiritual river of death. Many years later, at an English-esque boarding school, Sabriel must take up her father's magical sword and bells and try to find out what has happened to him. To do so, she must leave her relatively high-tech home for the Old Kingdom, where magic rules and evil things are stalking her.
Along the way, she is accompanied by the guard Touchstone and the menacing/funny cat-spirit Mogget. They must try to defeat the evil Kerrigor, who wants to blast the Charter which keeps all things from descending into evil.
Sabriel is the best fantasy hero I've read about since Lord of the Rings. Too many fantasy heroines are either damsels or warrior women--Sabriel is neither. She acts and thinks precisely like a young woman in her position. Strong, intriguing, and no slack with a sword in a bad situation, she is a wonderful role model.
Touchstone is a darling, but Mogget really is unique. Is he evil? Good? Or some peculiar mix? This ancient spirit forced to live as a cat is enslaved to the Abhorsen family for the good of everyone (we get a glimpse of how dangerous he is). The world that Garth Nix dreamed up, a mixture of Tolkien and WW2 England, is unparalleled in the fantasy genre. It's populated by animated ghouls, ghastly Mordicants, the almost-human sendings, Charter ghosts, the inhabitants of the river of Death, where only Abhorsens go, and so on...Read more ›
Sabriel's world is an unusual one in that there is magic as well as technology, but this book focuses more on the characters and leaves much of the world around them only hinted at. In addition, the author drops us right into the action with little preamble. This is disorienting at first, but it enables the reader to feel firmly entrenched in the world of the novel, and less like an outsider who is only reading about it.
While the story has a slow beginning, once Sabriel begins her journey it is gripping and suspenseful. It is not exactly horror, but its imagery does set it firmly in the realm of dark fantasy. And although it is written for and marketed to younger readers, adults should not find it beneath them. The story is complete but one gets the feeling that there is still much to explore, and I am very much looking forward to doing so in the books that follow.
The plot was fantastic and fast-paced; there wasn't a moment I wasn't on the edge of my seat. Exhausting chapters of worthless garble is a common trait in many 'classic' fantasies. Nix has created an extremely believable and well-versed world, without the fluff. Poetic, dark, and forbidding, the heroine and companions are worthy of the world they are placed in. I could simply close my eyes and fly across the borders of what is called the Old Kingdom, in all its dangerous beauty. We are foreign visitors, as is the daring Sabriel. The plot was clear, consise, yet not overly simplictic. It begins as a search and rescue mission, and ends in a rich battle to save both the old and new aspects of this odd world.
Characters - wonderful. As rich as the world they reside in, Sabriel, Touchstone, and Mogget fully impressed me. They all read amazingly like living people, rather than a work of fantasy. Mogget, especially - his duel personalities clash wickedly, and he is not always what he appears to be; a cat? free magic?
To end this tiring review of a not-so-tiring story, I will add that this work is new, creative, and bold. There is a striking combination of modern technology and medieval swords and bows; a wall devides the two areas of the world.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The first book follows Sabriel. A quick thinking, witty and magical woman who has the whole kingdom's safety on her shoulders. I loved this book and re-read the series often!Published 1 day ago by Nicola Dee
Sabriel is a book that was way ahead of its time when it was published--Garth Nix defies Fantasy conventions like a madman, and the end result is this wonderful, complex... Read morePublished 4 days ago by smintitule
Sabriel was a wonderful surprise. I read it on a whim, having never heard of the author or the series. It is a fast read, and well deserving of the prominent Philip Pullman blurb. Read morePublished 18 days ago by MKEH
good book. really enjoying the story so far! Excited to finish and see where the book takes me.Published 25 days ago by marciesplayground
I downloaded this from Amazon via a public library loan. I'm really not a big fantasy reader, as I prefer hard science fiction. Read morePublished 26 days ago by HonkyTonkGearhead
I adore high fantasy books, so it’s kinda surprising I hadn’t read Sabriel yet. I mean, this book has become like high fantasy legend so I really had no excuse. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Teresa
It's on the Harry Potter level and well done. I'm looking forward to th next two books. Kept my attention throughout.Published 1 month ago by David