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Review: Sabriel by Garth Nix

Title: Sabriel (Abhorsen #1)
Author: Garth Nix
Pub Date: September 1995
Pub Deets: Harper Trophy
Source: Library
Challenges: Rewind and Review, Support Your Library Challenge

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In a sentence or so: Necromancer Sabriel is off to save her father and lock down a seriously evil dead dude trying to cause all sorts of destruction among the living.

Sabriel’s finishing her last year of boarding school when she gets a letter from her dad, Abhorsen. He’s trapped in death and needs her help. Woefully unaware of how things work in the old kingdom, but determined to save her father, Sabriel heads out to her dad’s place to see what she can figure out from there. Once she gets to the old kingdom, things are bad. Like really bad. Charter stones, which are the source of her magic, are broken all over the place and clearly the work of some supremely powerful and evil force.

Sabriel partners up with a guardian in cat form named Mogget, suits up in all sorts of sweet necromancing gear and gadgets, and she’s off to save her father and probably the whole dang world while she’s at it.

This is one of the classic YA fantasy books, and I can totally see why. Heavy on the magic and adventure, Garth Nix writes for young adults but does so with a mature voice and lots of details. There were so many things to learn about Sabriel’s world, and I greedily gobbled them all up.

If you’re looking to start a new epic fantasy series that isn’t overwhelming, give Sabriel a go. I know I’ll be finishing up this series asap!

Fave quote: "But Mogget was silent. All Touchstone heard was the shuffling, wading, splashing of the Dead, as they slowly drew closer, like starving rats creeping up to a sleeping drunk's dinner." (211)

Pairs well with: A furry companion. While Mogget certainly won’t admit it, I’d bet he’d snuggle right up to you while you read.

Fix er up: The romance felt a little clunky and forced near the end. Like the editor told Garth Nix he HAD to have a romance in there and he was all OKAY FINE.

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. I've been meaning to read this for quite some time now. Your review makes me want to go outside and grab myself a copy ASAP! :)

    - Ellie @ The Selkie Reads Stories

  2. This is one that I've been wanting to read because it sounds Asheley-rific. Glad it has your stamp of approval cause I'll probably like it too.

    Not too sure about that cover. Were I a less shallow human, I'd probably have picked this one up already. But HEY I'M ALL HONEST AND STUFF.

    1. I know. The cover is no bueno.
      But the insides are RAD.


    I love the hell out of this book and I have the version with THAT COVER, even though I also like the one that has the gold lettering on it.


  4. yeah, the romance isn't the best...but man, this book IS SO AWESOME ANYWAY.

    I read and absolutely loved it years ago - have I read the sequel yet? NO. Fail.

    1. I'm the worst about reading sequels in a timely manner! Wahhh!

  5. Macky (the fiance) was the one who put this book in my hands - and I LOVED IT. It's really, really, really good. I'm not too hot on the romance, but the story? The magic? MOPPET? HECK YES. I can't wait for you to get to the second and third book!

  6. Okay, I have to admit that when this came out I borrowed it from my English teacher (in middle school) and have YET to give the copy back. I mean, I never finished it! These days I see it around and keep thinking I need to pick it up next time I'm at the parent's house. Sad about clunky romance, but I'll sign up for a cool animal side kick any day.

  7. Sabriel....sigh....has been on my TBR basically forever. I know that I need it. I KNOW IT. Gnarly cover and all, it sounds so legit. I will say this: I ADORE animal side kicks but they make me nervous. If anything happens to that furry companion, Amy will not be a happy camper. Obviously, though, now that I know you loved it, I'm going to have to jump on it ASAP.

  8. This book has been sitting in my kindle for well over a year now. I guess I'll need to read it. ha ha!


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