Sabriel by Garth Nix

Sabriel (Old Kingdom, #1)

by Garth Nix

Breathtaking novel, the first of a trilogy, from a brilliant newcomer to the Collins fiction list.

Sabriel is sent as a child across the Wall to the safety of a school in Ancelstierre. Away from magic; away from the Dead. After receiving a cryptic message from her father, 18-year-old Sabriel leaves her ordinary school and returns across the Wall into the Old Kingdom. Fraught with peril and deadly trickery, her journey takes her to a world filled with parasitical spirits, Mordicants, and Shadow Hands - for her father is none other than The Abhorson. His task is to lay the disturbed dead back to rest. This obliges him - and now Sabriel, who has taken on her father's title and duties - to slip over the border into the icy river of Death, sometimes battling the evil forces that lurk there, waiting for an opportunity to escape into the realm of the living. Desperate to find her father, and grimly determined to help save the Old Kingdom from destruction by the horrible forces of the evil undead, Sabriel endures almost impossible challenges whilst discovering her own supernatural abilities - and her destiny.

Reviewed by ammaarah on

4 of 5 stars

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

Fantasy. I don't know when last I read an intense fantasy, like Sabriel. The nostalgia is real!
Sabriel, because she is so damn awesome!
Mogget. His cynical nature and sarcasm made my life.
★ That the romance is subtle and just happens. It doesn't feel forced.
★ The world building. Seriously amazing!
★ The magic system.
★ The uniqueness of the Abhorsen

★ Garth Nix's writing style. It makes things difficult to visualise.
Sabriel is easy to put down.
★ The pacing. The book starts off being intriguing, drags towards the middle and has an action-packed ending!

Sabriel is an awesome and unique fantasy with a strong main female character that's easy to root for, just beware of the writing style and pacing.
"Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker?" (Sabriel)

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Reading updates

  • Started reading
  • 5 February, 2017: Finished reading
  • 5 February, 2017: Reviewed