Sunday, August 19, 2012

Review: The Abhorsen by Garth Nix

Publication date: September 1, 2004

Publisher: Eos 

Pages: 311 (paperback)

Summary: (Goodreads)

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. She soon finds companions in Mogget, a cat whose aloof manner barely conceals its malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage long imprisoned by magic, now free in body but still trapped by painful memories. As the three travel deep into the Old Kingdom, threats mount on all sides. And every step brings them closer to a battle that will pit them against the true forces of life and death -- and bring Sabriel face-to-face with her own hidden destiny.

With "Sabriel," the first installment in the Abhorsen trilogy, 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.

Publication date: September 1, 2004 

Publisher: Eos

Pages: 426 (paperback)

Summary: (Goodreads)

Lirael has never felt like a true daughter of the Clayr. Now, two years past the time when she should have received the Sight that is the Clayr's birthright, she feels alone, abandoned, unsure of who she is. Nevertheless, the fate of the Old Kingdom lies in her hands. With only her faithful companion, the Disreputable Dog, Lirael must undertake a desperate mission under the growing shadow of an ancient evil.

In this sequel to "Sabriel," winner of the Aurealis Award for Excellence in Australian Science Fiction, New York Times best-selling author Garth Nix weaves a spellbinding tale of discovery, destiny, and danger.

Publication date: September 1, 2004 

Publisher: Eos

Pages: 368 (paperback)

Summary: (Goodreads)

The Ninth was strong and fought with might, 
 But lone Orannis was put out of the light, 
 Broken in two and buried under hill, Forever to lie there, wishing us ill.

So says the song. But Orannis, the Destroyer, is no longer buried under hill. It has been freed from its subterranean prison and now seeks to escape the silver hemispheres, the final barrier to the unleashing of its terrible powers.

Only Lirael, newly come into her inheritance as the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, has any chance of stopping the Destroyer. She and her companions -- Sam, the Disreputable Dog, and Mogget -- have to take that chance. For the Destroyer is the enemy of all Life, and it must be stopped, though Lirael does not know how.

To make matters worse, Sam's best friend, Nick, is helping the Destroyer, as are the necromancer Hedge and the Greater Dead Chlorr, and there has been no word from the Abhorsen Sabriel or King Touchstone.

Everything depends upon Lirael. A heavy, perhaps even impossible burden for a young woman who just days ago was merely a Second Assistant Librarian. With only a vision from the Clayr to guide her, and the rather mixed help of her companions, Lirael must search in both Life and Death for some means to defeat the Destroyer.

Before it is too late. . . .

While other kids relied on Harry Potter to first discover the worlds of magic and wizardry, I turned to the Abhorsen series. I can even remember the dirty feeling of the Southern rain on my skin as I chose this book out of the seemingly millions in the teen section of my bookstore. The sky was so dark the lighting in the store did nothing to shine light on all of the books there.

This series brought out an even darker side to what I’d thought of as magic. We all have our different takes on it and after reading Sabriel, I knew that while there are people who abuse this power, (in fiction, I’d rather not start on the indecency of actual magic users) there are also magic wielders who use it for good.

The Abhorsen series is filled to the brim with adventure, valiant shows of courage and strength, and battles of great power. They flow with life sometimes even more realistic than my own reality. My reading experience would not be the same had I not taken the chance that day to buy Sabriel

Lirael, the second novel in the Abhorsen series, is my favorite out of them all. Lirael and I have so much in common; I thought I was reading a book written about my personality adventuring into the bowels of fantasy. My younger self ate every word up and relished in the fact that somewhere out there in the world of books, someone was like me. Some thought like I did. It made me feel less alone after that as I realized that what I thought was a weakness was really a strength. 

It’s also been said that there’s going to be a fourth after all these years. I don’t think anyone knows how excited I am, not really. 


  1. I've seen this at my school library and I'm waiting for the school to start to pick this up! Great review, Abby! I'm definitely going to enjoy this series. :)

    1. Thanks for commenting, Delaney! I always love reading your comments! lol. :) Omg, you'll love it!!! It's an amazing series! :)