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The Abhorsen Trilogy Box Set Paperback – Box set, September 27, 2005

4.8 out of 5 stars 437 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Garth Nix was born in 1963 in Melbourne, Australia. A full-time writer since 2001, he has worked as a literary agent, marketing consultant, book editor, book publicist, book sales representative, bookseller, and part-time soldier in the Australian Army Reserve. Garth's books include the award-winning fantasy novels Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen; Clariel, a prequel in the Abhorsen series; the cult favorite teen science fiction novel Shade's Children; and his critically acclaimed collection of short stories, To Hold the Bridge. His fantasy novels for younger readers include The Ragwitch, the six books of the Seventh Tower sequence, the Keys to the Kingdom series, and A Confusion of Princes. His books have appeared on the bestseller lists of the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, the Guardian, and the Australian, and his work has been translated in forty languages. He lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife and two children.


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; Slp edition (September 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060734191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060734190
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 4.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (437 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By EA 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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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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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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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.
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