Top positive review
Excellent Aussie YA Fantasy
on January 4, 2016
Sabriel's father is the Abhorsen, the most powerful of necromancers who can bind the dead and stop them breaking through to the real world.Since her mother died when she was born, Sabriel is sent away to boarding school and only sees her father twice per year. The Kingdom they live in is divided into two parts with a wall protected by strong magic. Ancelstierre, the southern kingdom, where Sabriel is sent to school is safe and people live uneventful lives without the use of magic but the northern part of the kingdom, the Old Kingdom where Abhorsen must live is full of magic, good and evil where the dead can break through more easily and come back to attack the living. When Sabriel is about to leave school she receives the news that her father is dead and she must travel to the Old Kingdom to find out what has happened.
This is a very well told YA fantasy for young and old. Sabriel is a strong female character who nevertheless makes some blunders and grows into her role. Helping her she has Mogget, a cat shaped spirit who provides some humour by making snide comments at her expense and Touchstone who becomes more likeable as the book goes on. The world building is good, with the good, safe non-magical kingdom separated from the more chaotic, magical side and the system of magic is interesting, based on an agreed Charter as well as free magic that has no rules.