Sabriel

 
5.0
 
4.9 (22)
2241 0
Author(s)
Genre(s)
Age Range
12+
ISBN
0060273224
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1 reviews

Garth Nix's debut novel
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0

This is one of my new favorite books. I only read it recently, to prepare for the arrival of the sequel, Lirael. I wish I'd read it sooner. Sabriel is a beautifully imaginative work. It has a touch of darkness to it that serves to highlight the light and hope that also shine through.


Garth Nix is an all-too-rare commodity in the fantasy genre: an authentic world builder. The world described in Sabriel stands up to close examination and promises much to be discovered in the future.


Sabriel, the main character, is a young girl who finds herself caught between two worlds, two ways of life and even between life or death. Her father is the Abhorsen, a man with the skills and the blood line to defeat evil necromancers.


He is a citizen of the Old Kingdom, a dark and sometime brutal fairy-tale land of powerful magic. He sends Sabriel to live in Ancelstierre, a world across the wall... a world more like our own.


She grows up there, but learns much from her father during his frequent visits. But when she is nearly ready to graduate, she gets a frightening and stunning call for help from her father.


She crosses into the Old Kingdom and finds herself faced with dangers and adventure galore. Along the way, she learns more about her father, her station in life and how the world(s) work.


I really loved this book and the sequel, Lirael (see the review of Lirael). But you don't have to take my word for it. See for yourself how engrossing Sabriel's world is by reading the first chapter in our excerpts area.

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22 reviews

 
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Overall rating 
 
4.9
Plot 
 
4.8  (22)
Characters 
 
5.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
5.0  (1)
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Brilliant
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
This is an amazing book. As sad as this sounds, I can't wait for Monday so I can go to the library and borrow the next one.

Sabriel is an eighteen-year-old necromancer. Yes, Necromancer, as in she can go into Death and bring dead things out.... or send the undead back in.

She goes to Wyverly college, and everything is just fine until he finds out from an undead messenger that her father is actually in Death and imprisoned there. So, naturally, she goes out to try and save him.

Her first stop is at their old house, where she meets a cat-who-is-actually-a-Free-magic-creature called Mogget. Free magic creatures are basically evil things created by evil magic and the only reason Mogget is not killing her is because he is imprisoned by a magic collar. Is it strange that a talking, possibly-evil, sarcastic magic cat is my favourite character in this book? I just loved him. He reminded me a bit of Grimalkin in the Iron Fey series.

Then a little through the book they meet a wooden statue that is actually a frozen person. Sabriel goes to Death to find him, and it turns out that he has been frozen for 200+ years and can't remember anything, and calls himself Touchstone.

So these are our three heroes, who go against the forces of evil to try and rescue Sabriel's father and beat the most completely evil of all Free magic creatures called Kerrigor.

Now, more on the necromancy stuff. Sabriel has these six? seven? bells that have magic power and can do awesome stuff like send the Dead back into dead and make them talk (you try talking through a rotten, disgusting mouth) and stuff like that. She also has a magic sword, both gifts from her father, to help her and stuff.

Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention. Her father is a very respected kind of person called the Abhorsen, because he's a guy who sends the dead back to Death. And now Sabriel has got to take on that responsibility.

Garth Nix has imagined and portrayed Sabriel's world fantastically. Give this one a try.
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Brilliant!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Beth

In this novel, Garth Nix creates a new world of fantasy.  Sabriel is a strong young woman torn between two worlds.  She is to be the next Abhorsen, the necromancer that instead of raising the dead puts them down for ever.  The book is set in the Old Kingdom, where magic is commonplace and so are the risen dead.  This world is richly detailed and vividly imagined by Nix.  The charaters are beautifully drawn and layered, and the plot is unexpected.  All of this combines to create a breathtaking book that all should read.
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The best book in the world
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Aura

I Fell in love with Sabriel. When i first picked it i couldn't stop reading i had to read and once the book was i reread a hundred times over. Then i scoured the globe searching for other book by garth nix, I truly fell in love with his books, I still have yet to find more of his books
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Wonderful
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Mairi

Sabriel is a citizen of the Old Kingdom, but her father sent her south of the Wall when she was a child. Until she was eighteen she attended an Ancelstierrean school, where she became a prefect. In her last weeks at the school a messanger from Death came to her with her father's sword and bells, which she knew he would never have given up unless he was dead or soon to be.

This was one of the first young adult books I ever read, for I came late into the section- I was around eleven and, needless to say, I thought it was a pretty cool book and decided these young adult books might not be so bad after all. I finished the series and then started it again when I was a bit older and, having begun reading it for a third time, am delighted to find it is still wonderful. I bought Sabriel to read it again, and was glad to find a copy with a normal cover- for those of you who have not seen the new ones, they're awful.

I highly recommend this to just about anyone- it's not a girl book or a guy book.
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Abhorsen: The Anti-necromancer
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Matt Hill

Everyone has read the same old horror story about lurching dead attacking the innocents, right? But this book is much, much more....

This book is set in an alternate land, kinda like Australia. Tha South is just like our modern world, filled with our buerocratic problems. In the North, is a fantastic medeval world of fantasy, adventure, magic...
every thing you need for a great story! Garth Nix makes the world surround you until there is no thought of how it should be; he's made it so reallistically that everyone can agree on what's what, what happens in each Precinct of Death, what each bell means, etc. The magic of the charter, and those uncontrolled Free magic Beings that the Abhorsen lays to rest.

Let this world surround you, and May the Charter be with you!
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Garth Nix is Great
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by MRose52

This is really great book if you are interested in Science Fiction or Fantasy. It is about a young girl -named Sabriel -who inherits her fathers job after he goes missing. This wouldn't be unusual, except that Sabriel's father has no normal job. His is a necromancer. But not just any necromancer...he is the Abhorsen. So Sabriel dosen't raise the dead, she has to put them back down where they belong...six feet under.
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Supurb Sabriel
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Jazzy

Sabriel
by Garth Nix


Her sword loomed above her, blade and hilt casting a moon shadow of a cross upon her face. If you love action and adventure stories mixed with a romance, this book is perfect for you. It is an exciting fantasy that you will never forget. It is told in third person but I think it would have been better in first person.

Sabriel has taken over the position of Abhorsen ( the Abhorsen is a powerful charter mage or someone who knows charter magic and uses it to banish the dead. There can be only one at a time and the Abhorsen cant die until they teach another the skill of charter magic). Her dad has sent her his sword and his bells, the tools of an Abhorsen, at Sabriels college. Sabriel leaves her college to go in search of her dad who may be trapped in the realm of the dead or actually dead. She crosses the wall into the old kingdom to go to her dads house which is a long and hard journey. After she has been chased by some powerful dead sprits she finally makes it to her dads house where her dads body might be, because she needs it to bring him back to life. When she gets in she doesn't find her dads body but she finds a cat named mogget who can talk and is actually a powerful spirit that has been trapped for a long time. Mogget agrees to help her find her dad and after they rest they take a paperwing ( a glider)to try to reach a city where they think Sabriels dad may be. They are attacked and crash. Do you think Sabriel will find her dad and defeat the powers of the dead? Read on in Garth Nixs Sabriel.

At some parts it got a little boring when there were some long discussions but over all it was pretty engaging. Garth Nix made the story pretty interesting but really complicated. When I was reading I thought I could have been in the story. As I was reading the author didnt leave any holes in the plot so I was able to understand it. I would recommend this book to 12-13 year olds because the characters talk about some mature stuff and it has some gruesome descriptions. I think that the over all theme in this book is to never give up. I have read another series by garth nix called the Keys to the Kindom and those are also real good.
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An Amazing Fantasy Novel
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Sara

"Sent to boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random free magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him. She soon finds companions in Mogget, a cat whose aloof manner barely conceals his malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young charter mage long imprisoned by magic, now free in body but still trapped by painful memories. As the three travel deep into the Old Kingdom, threats mount on all sides. And every step brings them closer to a battle that will pit them against the true forces of life and death - and bring Sabriel face-to-face with her own hidden destiny."

I love, love, love Garth Nix. He is one of the best fantasy writers I've ever read. Sabriel is the first in his trilogy which also includes Lirael and Abhorsen.

Sabriel takes place in a land riddled with dead that are trying to overtake the land - and the living - but the heroine, who bears the same name as the book, gives the reader hope as they learn the art of being an Abhorsen as she learns. Sabriel is one of the first characters that I've ever encountered that does not have any distracting flaws that make the reader dislike her. The other characters in the book, including Touchstone and Mogget, are also loveable - though they may not always be nice.

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Take a ride in Death
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Zac

Do you dare enter Death? In Sabriel's world there are two places: the Old Kingdom and the New Kingdom. The Old Kingdom holds the terrible powers of dark magic and trickery, and it is only a simple matter of time before that magic is let loose in the New Kingdom.

Hop on for a ride into the crevices of Death and its many unexpected offices.
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Unique
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Kody Boye

Sabriel, one of the best books Ive read. It caught my eye by the title, which I guessed was a name. When I picked it up a saw a young woman with a bell in her hand, along with a dark shadow behind her, so I decided to read it. The book has a good point of view behind the magic of necromancy. The book is excellent and Nix is a great author, five out of five for Sabriel.
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