the moon child, August 13, 2012 (view all comments by the moon child)
Sabriel is very good. i am not a fantasy fan, but the story wraps you up, and the plot line is paced nicely. At f rst its a little confusing, because you wonder what this whole death thing is, but once you get it the book is great. i am a big fan of the trilogy now.
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crowyhead, October 11, 2007 (view all comments by crowyhead)
While this pales a bit in comparison to its two sequels (Lirael and Abhorsen), this is the book that sets up the world and the way it functions. Sabriel is a great character; she's resilient and capable, but her confusion and grief at the disappearance of her father and her fear of taking on the mantle of Abhorsen is very real. On re-reading it, there were some things that bothered me a little, mainly that Nix skimps on the development of the emotional tie between Sabriel and Touchstone. The ending also felt resoundingly abrupt this time around, but overall I still greatly enjoyed it.
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elodiemassa, August 3, 2007 (view all comments by elodiemassa)
when you love science fiction, heroic fantasy and those type of creative writtings,
Garth Nix's books are a TREAT!!! those 3 books are just fabulous, unexpected, lovely, you just regret there's only 3, the characters are surprisingly delightfull, colorfull, full of emotions, it is also a great subject treated with intelligence and care.
go for it.
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Shoshana, January 25, 2007 (view all comments by Shoshana)
+ Strong female protagonist; incorporation of mythic and modern elements; frank and contextually appropriate references to sexuality; appealing cover art
- Some deus ex machina elements; some dangling plot elements (perhaps to be resolved later in the series)
The first of the Abhorsen trilogy. Somewhat evocative of Pullman's His Dark Materials, this volume is a coming-of-age narrative centered on Sabriel. Until she is about to graduate, Sabriel knows fairly little about her father, though he has taught her some magic. Upon receiving clear indications that her father has died, Sabriel undertakes a dangerous journey to find his body across the Wall in the Old Kingdom. As she journeys, she learns more about her father and the powerful role she must now assume.
Nix does a good job creating the world in which the narrative takes place and constructs a convincing heterotopia. Some plot points are more ex machina than I'd like. Better written than Harry Potter, though slightly more picaresque, perhaps to allow more natural opportunities for exposition. Less well-written than The Amulet of Samarkand and the other two volumes in Stroud's Bartimaeus trilogy. Like Stroud and Pullman, rather dark. Some imagery related to magic and death is similar to Le Guin's Earthsea Trilogy and other Earthsea books. Considerably less light-hearted than Duane's Young Wizards series. Like all of the authors mentioned, with the exception of Rowling, magic is portrayed as both seductive and somewhat dangerous. There is a strong moral conviction related to using magic primarily in service to others rather than for the magician's own purposes.
Given its incidental cast of thousands of the dead and almost-dead, Sabriel seems to be a good companion to McCarthy's The Road and World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War.
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bistiquea, September 25, 2006 (view all comments by bistiquea)
This is quite possibly my favorite book. I have 3 bookshelves full at home, and this is still probably my very favorite. I recommend this book, and this author, to anyone that will listen to me, and quite frequently, even to ones that won't.
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by Publishers Weekly (Starred Review),
"Rich, complex, involving, hard to put down, this first novel...is excellent high fantasy."
by Booklist (Starred Review),
"A page-turner for sure, this intricate tale compares favorably with Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass and will surely appeal to the same audience."
by San Francisco Chronicle,
"By turns rousing, charming and slyly funny, Sabriel is an engaging tale that slays sexual sterotypes along with its monsters."
by Philip Pullman, author of The Golden Compass,
"Sabriel is a winner, a fantasy that reads like realism. Here is a world with the same solidity and four-dimensional authority as our own, created with invention, clarity, and intelligence. I congratulate Garth Nix. And I look forward to reading his next piece of work."
by Lloyd Alexander, author of The Black Cauldron,
"Nix has created a...remarkable and persuasive world; and done it in the grand style of heroic romance."
by Children's Literature,
"Nix adds his own flavor to the fantasy novel and tells a unique tale of the female hero quest."
"This wonderful new fantasy is filled with rich and complex imagery."
by School Library Journal,
"[A] vividly imagined fantasy....[Nix's] monsters are scary and repulsive, his sense of humor is downright sneaky, and he puts his competent but not superhuman heroine through engrossing physical and emotional wringers. This book is guaranteed to keep readers up way past their bedtimes."
by The Alan Review,
"Nix is a new and welcome voice....He creates a believable setting and peoples it with characters who are fascinating....The adventure is dramatic enough to make a reader lose a night's sleep, because the book cannot be put down."
by Harper Collins,
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 rising star.
Since childhood, Sabriel has lived outside the walls of the Old Kingdom, away from the power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead who refuse to stay dead. But now her father, the Abhorson, is missing, and Sabriel must cross into that world to find him. With Mogget, whose feline form hides a powerful, perhaps malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage, Sabriel travels deep into the Old Kingdom. There she confronts an evil that threatens much more than her life and comes face-to-face with her own hidden destiny. . . .
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