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Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of 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 With Sabriel, the first installment in the Abhorsen series, Garth Nix exploded onto the fantasy scene as a rising star, in a novel that takes readers to a world where the line between the living and the dead isn t always clear and sometimes disappears altogether. 1 Sabriel 2 Lirael 3 Abhorsen 4 Clariel 5 Goldenhand Five Great Charters knit the landTogether linked, hand in handOne in the people who wear the crownTwo in the folk who keep the Dead downThree and Five became stone and mortarFour sees all in frozen water I first read Sabriel as a preteen, and while I know I loved it I must have, as I asked my parents to buy me the second book in the series, too I never continued the series, nor did I remember any of the details whatsoever In recent years, I met so many people who cherish this series that I just knew I had to reread the first book, and I m so glad that I did While this wasn t a perfect read for me by any means, it set the stage for what I genuinely believe is going to be an incredible series Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker necromancy I m such a sucker for necromancy books in general, and the way the world of the Dead and the Abhorsens is created in this book is wonderful, but not as fleshed out as I hoped it would be I adored every single sentence about the world of the Dead, the bells, the magic, and the ways in which Abhorsens Sabriel s family of necromancers interact with all of the above, but it was never quite enough Had I gotten an extra 50 100 pages of pure, unadulterated world building, I believe this would have been a 4 star read for me, if not better.That said, the setup we do get is magnificent the act of necromancy is portrayed in such a fascinating and risky way, and the Dead themselves are downright creepy These aren t wispy ghosts and quiet whispers in shadowy halls these are looming, vicious creatures, on a mission to regain their status among the living, no matter the cost Death and what came after death was no great mystery to Sabriel She just wished it was Sabriel The second double edged sword in this book was Sabriel s character, who I wanted so badly to love and I did love, by the end but I had such a hard time connecting to her She feels very ingenuine for the first 2 3 or so of the book Any time she feels a particularly strong emotion, it s described to us, but in a way that feels too clinical and detached to relate to I think this was definitely just a sign of inexperienced writing, because even by the end of the book, I was able to connect with her solidly, and I hear that this particular writing issue is one that is resolved in the other books in this series.Even without feeling like Sabriel is a three dimensional, complex character, I still soundly enjoyed who she had the potential to be She s tough, intelligent, and warm, without an evil bone in her body I think the biggest reason her lack of development frustrated me was simply because, with better writing, I could have seen Sabriel becoming one of my absolute favorite heroines and, in fact, I do remember adoring her as a child I love you, he whispered I hope you don t mind romance Finally, the reason I just could not bring myself to give this book a higher rating insta love Funny enough, it was of an issue with the love interest than it was with Sabriel which, at the very least, was a refreshing change from the trope of the female in an f m relationship being the first to fall I won t give any spoilers, but I will say that the quote I used at the heading of this section actually made me laugh out loud and roll my eyes a little bit It s not just that these two characters spend so little time together before confessing their love it s also a matter of the fact that they barely speak to one another throughout the entire book, as most of their limited time together is a tumultuous, stressful, and fairly quiet journey.On the other hand, a fellow blogger recently gave me some interesting food for thought insta love can be used as a plot device, to depict how na ve the characters are, and that could easily be said for the pairing in Sabriel If that was the author s intentions, I can respect it, but I still don t feel like it was the best route in fact, I think my preference would ve been for this book to be entire romance free You are the fifty third Abhorsen, Sabriel I have not taught you as well as I should let this be my final lesson Everyone and everything has a time to die final thoughts All in all, this book has a lot of flaws, but it s got so much potential and such an interesting and unique storyline that I would ask you not to let this 3 star rating convince you for a moment that I didn t enjoy it On the contrary, I had a wonderful time rereading Sabriel, and I ve already ordered myself a new copy of the second book so that I can see what else Garth Nix has in store for the series.You can find this review and on my blog, or you can follow me on twitter, bookstagram, or facebook First buddy read with Terry, my love I picked this book up from the library and noticed stickers on the book declaring that it was part of a reading challenge here in NSW for grades 7 8 This book is acceptable to read for 12 13 year olds Fuck me, can we turn around and go back to the library I asked my husband.He shook his head and smiled at me Just try it You never know It s for twelve to thirteen year olds No sex No swearing Minimum violence I don t fucking think so In the end, we brought it home and I sulked the whole way However yesterday I opened it up and thought I d actually give it a try and I m really glad it did.It actually managed to have romance in it than Darkfever did, and that bloody book has NAKED people on the front cover, for crying out loud I thought this was going to be a story about a young girl on a magical adventure with a sword and a bad hair do But it turns out it s about an eighteen year old woman with dark, deadly skills being chased and hunted by a terrible and deadly enemy.Sabriel has a good, clear head on her shoulder She s smart, she s strong, she s a well balanced and interesting character The characters in Sabriel are all interesting and capturing in their way Mogget was just pure win He cracked me up Touchstone was annoying at first but quickly won me over.The world is interesting and complex, filled with enough creepy things that go bump in the night to really freak me out.That s the best thing about this book It s not TRYING to be a children s book The rising action, climax and VERY short denouement had me on the edge of my seat I was actually on the edge of my seat throughout most of the book.In some parts it s really freaky and quite scary, in other parts it s sad.This is the second male author I ve come across lately that has written female characters BETTER than the women have been writing them lately You can t even compare Sabriel to a character like Bella Unless you were to really dumb it down into this Bella sucks, Sabriel awesome beyond all belief.Give this book a go It was fun, scary, action packed and I absolutely can t wait to read the sequels 3.5 stars Death and what came after death was no great mystery to Sabriel She just wished it was Sabriel and her father have a very unique brand of magic They can communicate with the dead and the damned from the Old Kingdom.Only they can confront such creatures and send them back to the gates of death.Then, during the first semester of Sabriel s school, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing and Sabriel is unwittingly promoted to the Abhorson Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker With the dead creeping ever closer to her friends and countrymen, Sabriel must go to find her father before it s too late and he transverses through one gate of death too many Do not tarry, do not stop, no matter what happens I ve heard so many wonderful things about this onethat Iwelll.I expected a little bit I just never felt a connection to this book the magic, the characters, the plot all meh to me.This book relies heavily on Charter Magic which, from what I can tell, involves speaking certain words and following strict rules that are never fully explained to the audience.The most frustrating part is that there s no build to the magic, it s just there It s kind of like if you jumped into the seventh Harry Potter book without the first few novels of magical background it was frustratingly complex.The other thing that really bugged me was the love interest Sabriel and the love interest were essentially acquaintances or perhaps pals, if you want to stretch it but all of a sudden, before the big battle, THIS happens I love you, he whispered I hope you don t mind And I m just sitting there like, what When did this happen Between the magic mayhem and the bland to non existent love, I never formed an emotional connection to any of the main characters or the plot other than Mogget Mogget was the shining star in the clouded night.It felt like I was being dragged on a journey rather than eagerly plunging into a new series Maybe I ll feel connected in book 2 Anyone else feel the same Audiobook CommentsRead by Tim Curry and honestly this audio did the book NO favors It was SO frustrating to have all these really cool concepts and absolutely NO excitement from the narrator No tone No characterization other than Mogget.Blog Instagram Twitter 3.5