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Sabriel: The Abhorsen Trilogy, Book One (The Abhorsen Trilogy #01)

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Sabriel: The Abhorsen Trilogy, Book One (The Abhorsen Trilogy #01) Cover

ISBN13: 9780064471831
ISBN10: 0064471837
Condition: Worn Condition or Underlined
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Excerpt

Chapter One

The rabbit had been run over minutes before. Its pink eyes were glazed and blood stained its clean white fur. Unnaturally clean fur, for it had just escaped from a bath. It still smelt faintly of lavender water.

A tall, curiously pale young woman stood over the rabbit. Her night-black hair, fashionably bobbed, was hanging slightly over her face. She wore no makeup or jewelry, save for an enamelled school badge pinned to her regulation navy blazer. That, coupled with her long skirt, stockings and sensible shoes, identified her as a schoolgirl. A nameplate under the badge read "Sabriel" and the Roman "VI" and gilt crown proclaimed her to be both a member of the Sixth Form and a prefect.

The rabbit was, unquestionably, dead. Sabriel looked up from it and back along the bricked drive that left the road and curved up to an imposing pair of wrought-iron gates. A sign above the gate, in gilt letters of mock Gothic, announced that they were the gates to Wyverley College. Smaller letters added that the school was "Established in 1652 for Young Ladies of Quality."

A small figure was busy climbing over the gate, nimbly avoiding the spikes that were supposed to stop such activities. She dropped the last few feet and started running, her pigtails flying, shoes clacking on the bricks. Her head was down to gain momentum, but as cruising speed was established, she looked up, saw Sabriel and the dead rabbit, and screamed.

"Bunny! "

Sabriel flinched as the girl screamed, hesitated for a moment, then bent down by the rabbit's side and reached out with one pale hand to touch it between its long ears. Her eyes closed and her face set as if she had suddenly turned to stone. A faint whistling sound came from her slightly parted lips, like the wind heard from far away. Frost formed on her fingertips and rimed the asphalt beneath her feet and knees.

The other girl, running, saw her suddenly tip forward over the rabbit, and topple towards the road, but at the last minute her hand came out and she caught herself. A second later, she had regained her balance and was using both hands to restrain the rabbit--a rabbit now inexplicably lively again, its eyes bright and shiny, as eager to be off as when it escaped from its bath.

"Bunny!" shrieked the younger girl again, as Sabriel stood up, holding the rabbit by the scruff of its neck. "Oh, thank you, Sabriel! When I heard the car skidding I thought . . ."

She faltered as Sabriel handed the rabbit over and blood stained her expectant hands.

"He'll be fine, Jacinth," Sabriel replied wearily. "A scratch. It's already closed up."

Jacinth examined Bunny carefully, then looked up at Sabriel, the beginnings of a wriggling fear showing at the back of her eyes.

"There isn't anything under the blood," stammered Jacinth. "What did you . . ."

"I didn't," snapped Sabriel. "But perhaps you can tell me what you are doing out of bounds?"

"Chasing Bunny," replied Jacinth, her eyes clearing as life reverted to a more normal situation. "You see . . ."

"No excuses," recited Sabriel. "Remember what Mrs. Umbrade said at Assembly on Monday."

"It's not an excuse," insisted Jacinth. "It's a reason."

"You can explain it to Mrs. Umbrade then."

"Oh, Sabriel! You wouldn't! You know I was only chasing Bunny. I'd never have come out--"

Sabriel held up her hands in mock defeat, and gestured back to the gates.

"If you're back inside within three minutes, I won't have seen you. And open the gate this time. They won't be locked till I go back inside."

Jacinth smiled, her whole face beaming, whirled around and sped back up the drive, Bunny clutched against her neck. Sabriel watched till she had gone through the gate, then let the tremors take her till she was bent over, shaking with cold. A moment of weakness and she had broken the promise she had made both to herself and her father. It was only a rabbit and Jacinth did love it so much--but what would that lead to? It was no great step from bringing back a rabbit to bringing back a person.

Worse, it had been so easy. She had caught the spirit right at the wellspring of the river, and had returned it with barely a gesture of power, patching the body with simple Charter symbols as they stepped from death to life. She hadn't even needed bells, or the other apparatus of a necromancer. Only a whistle and her will.

Death and what came after death was no great mystery to Sabriel. She just wished it was.

 

It was Sabriel's last term at Wyverley — the last three weeks, in fact. She had graduated already, coming first in English, equal first in Music, third in Mathematics, seventh in Science, second in Fighting Arts and fourth in Etiquette. She had also been a runaway first in Magic, but that wasn't printed on the certificate. Magic only worked in those regions of Ancelstierre close to the Wall which marked the border with the Old Kingdom. Farther away, it was considered to be quite beyond the pale, if it existed at all, and persons of repute did not mention it. Wyverley College was only forty miles from the Wall, had a good all-round reputation, and taught Magic to those students who could obtain special permission from their parents.

Sabriel's father had chosen it for that reason when he had emerged from the Old Kingdom with a five-year-old girl in tow to seek a boarding school. He had paid in advance for that first year, in Old Kingdom silver deniers that stood up to surreptitious touches with cold iron.

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Average customer rating based on 7 comments:

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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(8 of 17 readers found this comment helpful)
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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(7 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780064471831
Author:
Nix, Garth
Publisher:
HarperTeen
performance Read:
Leo Dillon
Illustrated by:
Diane Dillon
Author:
by Garth Nix and Leo and Diane Dillon
Author:
Landa, Peter
Author:
by Garth Nix and Leo and Diane Dillon
Author:
Paterson, Katherine
Author:
Dillon, Leo and Diane
Location:
New York, NY :
Subject:
Audiobooks
Subject:
Children's fiction
Subject:
Action & Adventure
Subject:
Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Subject:
Children's 12-Up - Fiction - Fantasy
Subject:
Fantastic fiction
Subject:
Magic
Subject:
Fantasy
Subject:
Fantasy fiction
Subject:
Adult
Subject:
Magic -- Fiction.
Subject:
Action & Adventure - General
Subject:
Fantasy & Magic
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Historical - Asia
Subject:
Children s-Science Fiction and Fantasy
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st American ed.
Edition Description:
Paperback
Series:
The Abhorsen Trilogy
Series Volume:
01
Publication Date:
September 30, 1997
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 7
Language:
English
Pages:
496
Dimensions:
6.75 x 4.1875 in 8.4 oz
Age Level:
100

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Related Subjects

Children's » Action and Adventure » Adventure Stories
Children's » Featured Titles
Children's » Middle Readers » General
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General
Featured Titles » General
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Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Young Adult » General

Sabriel: The Abhorsen Trilogy, Book One (The Abhorsen Trilogy #01) Used Mass Market
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 496 pages HarperTrophy - English 9780064471831 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Rich, complex, involving, hard to put down, this first novel...is excellent high fantasy."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "By turns rousing, charming and slyly funny, Sabriel is an engaging tale that slays sexual sterotypes along with its monsters."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "Nix has created a...remarkable and persuasive world; and done it in the grand style of heroic romance."
"Review" by , "Nix adds his own flavor to the fantasy novel and tells a unique tale of the female hero quest."
"Review" by , "This wonderful new fantasy is filled with rich and complex imagery."
"Review" by , "[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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Synopsis" by , 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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