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Garth Nix

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Collins

Published : 2002

Copyright : Garth Nix 2002

ISBN-10 : PB 0-00-713731-1
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-00-713731-2

Publisher's Write-Up

Who will guard the living when the dead arise?

Sabriel is the daughter of the Mage Abhorsen. Ever since she was a tiny child, she has lived outside the Wall of the Old Kingdom - far away from the uncontrolled power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead who won't stay dead.

But now her father is missing and Sabriel is called upon to cross back into that world to find him. Leaving the safety of the school she has known as home, Sabriel embarks upon a quest fraught with supernatural dangers, with companions she is unsure of - for nothing is as it seems within the boundary of the Old Kingdom. There she confronts an evil that threatens much more than her life, and comes face to face with her hidden destiny…

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (120106) Rating (9/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 9/10
I have a confession to make to you, it might be a bit of a shock, because nice people are not supposed to admit to things like this, but here goes; I am jealous. What? You want more? OK, I suffer really badly with the green-eyed monster. I may be about to sound like a bad soundbite rip off of an old person telling you that young people don't appreciate all of the stuff that they have because in my day we didn't get any of this. I don't know when precisely my day was supposed to have been, but do you get my drift? Of course not, I was trying not to start ranting, but I ended up procrastinating instead.

I am sooo jealous of all these wonderful books that are around now for young people. I am not saying children, because I am really enjoying most of them, and I am sure that most of the readers would not appreciate being called children!

This book is a perfect example, beautifully written, exciting and clever with engaging characters and a well thought out plot with an overall good-versus-evil thing going on, but posed behind the search of a young girl, Sabriel, for her father. Sabriel is at boarding school in Ancelstierre, which is about thirty miles from the wall that divides the country from the Old Kingdom. The Old Kingdom is a place of mystery where magic can be utilised for good or bad, and where it is possible to raise the dead.

Death is like a river which carries you along past the nine gates, and once beyond these gates you are not supposed to be able to come back. Unless you happen to be a necromancer, or have the misfortune to be brought back against your will. If this is the case, then the only person who can send your soul properly into death is the Abhorsen, who carries magical bells which can command you to sleep, to obey his will or travel into death past the ninth gate.

Sabriel's father is the Abhorsen, and one night when he sends his bells and sword to her, she realises that he must be trapped and unable to return to life. She sets out to find him, carrying with her the bells and sword and calling at his home where she meets a family retainer of the name Mogget, a mysterious magical cat who deigns to travel with her. In trying to find her father she rescues a young man that she finds petrified on the prow of a ship who calls himself Touchstone, or fool, because he is unable to remember his own name.

I shan't go on about this any more, as to give away any more as this might spoil the story for you, and seeing as how it is supposed to be an adventure, there needs to be a few surprises for you to encounter on your own. Suffice it to say, I read this in a day and I loved it, in fact I loved it so much that I sat and read Lireal in one go the following day - all in all I had a very rude weekend, ignoring everyone and everything going on around me!

But they really are special, and I think that books as good as this could be responsible for a new generation of children enjoying reading science fantasy and science fiction who might otherwise have been playing computer games. For the rest of us, though, we should just be grateful that we have more to be able to read now than we had before, because I enjoyed this in the same way that I loved the opening books of Raymond E.Feist's Riftwar series, no mean feat... and I am absolutely itching to get my hands on the last of the trilogy, Abhorsen, I'll let you know what I think of that.
Chrissi (12th January 2006)

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