Abhorsen by Garth Nix



Title: Abhorsen
Author: Garth Nix
Series: The Old Kingdom #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Fantasy, Necromancers
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: And what part did his friend Nicholas have to play in it all?

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide Synopsis


An ancient evil has arisen – freed from its subterranean prison and seeking to escape the binding silver hemispheres which prevent it from finally unleashing its terrible powers.

Lirael, newly come into her inheritance as the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, knows that the fate of the world is in her hands. With only a vision from the Clayr to guide her, and the uncertain help of her companions – Sam, the Disreputable Dog and Mogget – Lirael sets out on her perilous mission. The answer must be found somewhere in Life or Death – but can a former Second Assistant Librarian possibly discover the means to defeat the Destroyer… before it is too late?


To me, Abhorsen is all about duty and honour; it’s importance and how difficult it can truly be to pursue such a calling in life. Saving the world from certain doom is a great calling, if you are not the one who has to shoulder that responsibility. Lirael grabs this responsibility and her birthright with both hands and clings on. The way that she takes on a world of pain and obligation that she never thought was hers is inspiring and beautiful. It is a great reminder of the ways in which we should all grow a backbone and take charge of our own lives and destinies.

Abhorsen, like Lirael, is very much a story about Sameth and Lirael. Sabriel and Touchstone appear occasionally, but it is Lirael’s footsteps that we follow in. Since Lirael is the character that I most identify with, this perfectly suits me. Likewise, Sameth’s new-found courage and place in life help to build upon this and the way that the two are able to relate to, and support one another is one of those great and seamless relationships that seem to only happen in books.

Throughout The Old Kingdom series, The Charter, The Beginning and Free Magic are elusive concepts that are briefly touched upon, but never truly explained. Abhorsen goes a long way to changing this, although there are no hard and fast rules outlined, the story goes back to The Beginning and allows a window into such a complex world.

This tale feels like an end of a series (which it was for a long time), so I can’t wait until I receive my copy of Goldenhand, and find out more about Lirael’s life after Orannis.

<- Lirael Review Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case Review ->
Image source: Garth Nix

Book Review


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