First Review: Sabriel by Garth Nix

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Title: Sabriel
Author: Garth Nix
Genre: fantasy, young-adult
Series: Abhorsen #1
Published: 1995
Pages: 491
Rating: 3.5/5

Lively and creative, Garth Nix's Sabriel shines with imagination and invention. The magic system is simple, but clever and unique to his world. Also original and intriguing is Nix's concept of a long barricaded Wall, one that separates the dreaded dangerous Old Kingdom where the Dead can gain Life and can walk, and the more technologically,
electrically enhanced Ancelstierre to the south.
A few parts of the plot seemed overdone and a tad cliche (landing practically right on top of Touchstone and saving him?), but for the most part this is an enjoyable, utterly unique and lovely book.  Character-wise, Sabriel was believable and and interesting. Mogget was the best character of the book, probably because no one is really sure who/what he is, what he wants or who he's truly serving. His ambiguity and mystery is partially what had me racing through the pages. Touchstone didn't really develop into a 'real' character; for much of the book he is in, he is silent or doesn't really connect as an independent part of the novel.
Despite its small problems, this book is  full of adventure and surprise revelations, making Sabriel worth reading more than once. It can be found here.

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