Sabriel by Garth Nix is a high fantasy story of Life and Death; it is the first novel I’ve read about necromancy. An Abhorsen is a powerful Necromancer who banishes and sends the Dead on their way so they can no longer harm the Living. The story revolves around Sabriel, who is the Abhorsen’s daughter (we never learn his name, and even she believes that is his name until she learns otherwise). Her father lands into some trouble and as Sabriel receives her father’s items of trade, which include a bandolier of several magical bells and a special sword, she leaves her school in search of him.
Along the way she gains companions to help her. Mogget is a talking cat she finds at her father’s home, who is a mystery on his own. I loved his character, but I definitely want to know more about him. Hopefully he is in the other books, though I hear the other ones are more companion novels than sequels. The other character becomes a love interest and I thought this was well done. The relationship developed at a fair pace, making it feel genuine.
I loved the writing in this, which gave a sense of grand adventure. It wasn’t a super long journey, but it gave the idea of one. The pacing overall was decent; not too slow or too fast. I felt the characters were well developed for the most part. The villain was pretty classic for fantasy, he actually made me think of Sauron from Lord of The Rings.
I really enjoyed it and liked the story, so I gave it a 4/5 rating. I would recommend it to fans of high fantasy, and I’m definitely going to read the others as well. Clariel very recently came out this past October, which is a prequel taking place around 600 years before Sabriel’s birth. Along with that release, the first 3 books in this series were released with updated covers, since the first book was originally published in 1995 (Lirael and Abhorsen were published in 2001 and 2003 respectively).
Posted on January 8, 2015, in Book Review and tagged Abhorsen series, books, Fantasy, Garth Nix, high fantasy, reading, Review, Sabriel, The Old Kingdom, zibookishgamer. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.