Author: Garth Nix
Series: The Old Kingdom #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Fantasy, Necromancers
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
5th sentence, 74th page: I will help lure others to you.
WHO WILL GUARD THE LIVING WHEN THE DEAD ARISE?
Sabriel is the daughter of the Mage Abhorsen. Ever since she was a tiny child, she has lived outside the Wall of the Old Kingdom – far away from the uncontrolled power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead who won’t stay dead.
But now her father is missing and Sabriel is called upon to cross back into that world to find him. Leaving the safety of the school she has known as home, Sabriel embarks upon a quest fraught with supernatural dangers, with companions she is unsure of – for nothing is as it seems within the boundary of the Old Kingdom. There she confronts an evil that threatens much more than her life, and comes face to face with her hidden destiny.
I love that this is a series about necromancers – it is different and unique in a way that no other series I have read is. The binary distinction between life and death is echoed in the wall between ‘The Old Kingdom’ and ‘Ancelstierre’. The anti-necromancer, or Abhorsen, just made the entire tale all the more entrancing – partner this with beautiful writing and an entrancing storyline, and I dare you not to fall in love with Sabriel.
Nix uses Sabriel’s lack of knowledge and understanding to slowly feed through the details of the Charter, the Old Kingdom and the Abhorsen’s role in the world. This, combined with her innocence at the beginning of the tale takes the reader on an amazing journey. Her love for her father acts as a great driver in the story, undertaking a battle that she knows nothing about in his name. But, the character grows and as she does, so do her motivations.
The changes, both physical and mental that these characters go through within Sabriel are fantastic. Nix brilliantly takes the human’s psyche and places it under pressure, creating a diamond of a character.
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