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Sabriel (Old Kingdom, 1)

(Part of the Abhorsen (#1) Series and The Old Kingdom (#1) Series)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

Game of Thrones fans will love the New York Times bestselling Abhorsen series. Sabriel, the first installment in the trilogy, launched critically acclaimed author Garth Nix onto the fantasy scene as a... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

2 ratings

Lush, completely imaginative fantasy-adventure

Possibly one of the greatest fantasy adventures of our times, Garth Nix's first novel is a lush, magical, dark-witty adventure about a young woman's battle with the hideous Dead.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... His writing style is lush and hypnotic--you can actually see the events unfolding in front of your eyes, in this wintry but inviting world. Thankfully, Mr. Nix appears to be writing a pair of sequels--I can hardly wait. Anyone else think this should be made into a movie?

Review of Sabriel

We've all read stories starring the tough girl, out to kick the world head over tail kind of character. Sadly, these characters all too often have nothing better to do with their time than to wander around playing hero. Don't get me wrong- I love books with female heroines. But sometimes you get that feeling that they lack- well- heart. All too often the tough girl stance gets taken a little too far. Which is why I love this book. Sabriel is entirely human- a young woman who has her own goals, her own life, and who manages to uphold her values without ever giving in. Yet staunchness does not make the character; Sabriel's basic humanity is what lets her reach out and touch you from within her paper world. She gets angry, she gets even. She loves Touchstone, hates the evil that has invaded the Kingdom, treasures her father, respects Mogget. . . . It is almost a relief to 'meet' a character with such basic reasons. Don't get me wrong; there's nothing elemental about Sabriel. She has her reasons for doing what she does, and Gareth Nix does an exceptional job of writing within the female Psyche. I have, on occassion, run into those few and far between writers whose opposite sex characters behave nothing like real people, and have always regretted the experience. Okay- anyway, I found Nix's characters to be richly portrayed, human, rational, and logical. Better still was his world- on one side, a person might have a life much like ours. On the other you have a place where magic still thrives, and the great charters rule the land. The tension is nicely played out, the book climaxes nicely, and the end is resolved fairly satisfactorially. I certainly would not quibble with the concept of a sequel- In fact, for a book this good, I can only hope that at some point Nix returns and writes a sequel- either about Sabriel or about one of the Abhorsens before her; maybe the story of her father or the woman who built the paperwings. One can only hope.

Sabriel Mentions in Our Blog

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A Spoiler-Free Crash Course to Sarah J. Maas's Crescent City Series
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • January 21, 2024

Fans can't wait to get their hands on House of Flame and Shadow, the newest book in Sarah J. Maas's sexy, action-packed Crescent City series, coming out January 30. If you're interested in learning more about the series, here's a spoiler-free crash course.

Sabriel in Spotlight on Brandon Sanderson
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Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • April 05, 2023

Brandon Sanderson made international headlines last year for raising more than $40 million in a Kickstarter campaign to self-publish four "surprise novels'' and deliver them directly to fans. The first of these is his newest book, Tress of the Emerald Sea. Read on to learn more about the fascinating author.

Sabriel in Trending Author Alert! Five Fun Facts About #BookTok Favorite Sarah J. Maas
Trending Author Alert! Five Fun Facts About #BookTok Favorite Sarah J. Maas
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • February 08, 2022

Her books may be trending on #BookTok lately, but Sarah J. Maas has been churning out bestsellers for a while now. Get to know the author a bit more and pick up a few of her must-read titles including the newest in her Crescent City series (available for pre-order).

Sabriel in A Guide to Young Adult Books for Adults
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Published by Bianca Smith • February 01, 2018

Young Adult books have never been just for the young.

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