Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.
If you're in the mood for a somber, gorgeously visual novel that's part Philip Pullman, part Tolkien, and part a world out of one those artful fantasy illustrations that seemed to have had a heyday in the 1970s, Sabriel might fit the bill. The heroine of the title is a girl of mysterious origins who was born in the magical "Old Kingdom" and possesses a rare natural gift for necromancy. However, Sabriel has spent most of her life in Ancelstierre, a non-magical country that resembles Britain of the early 1900s, but shares a strange border region with the Old Kingdom. The story begins with its heroine, who is completing a clandestine education in magic, learning that her often-absent father, who spends most of his time in the Old Kingdom, has gone missing. Meanwhile, the undead ghouls and spirits that plague that region have been acting up, for reasons that Sabriel doesn't understand, having been away from home for so long.
While the quest that ensues follows a well-worn good-versus-darkness script, I enjoyed its world creation. Many of Nix's ideas, from the militarized zone between Ancelstierre and the Old Kingdom, to the different bells that perform different kinds of necromantic magic, to the beautifully eerie World of the Dead, a Stygian realm populated by beings and souls that have not yet passed entirely from life (and a third parallel reality in the story), have a delicious sense of old history to them. I also enjoyed the side characters, a sardonic, semi-helpful creature of unclear origins named Mogget, who is trapped inside a cat's body, and a stolid, brooding young man named Touchstone, who is wrapped up in his own past.
The writing resembles Pullman's The Golden Compass in that it takes its dark reality seriously and contains a few "adult" things, such as some glancing references to sex and several grim scenes of death. There's nothing I'd consider prurient or inappropriate for the average 12-13 year old, though. For my money, The Golden Compass was more interesting, but readers looking for a work like it, albeit with a more traditional sensibility, would probably enjoy Sabriel.
Tim Curry's audiobook performance, which is a touch campfire tale and a touch Shakespearean theatre, fits the tone delightfully.
Tim Curry is perfect as the narrator. The concept of the Abhorsen and the Old Kingdom was amazing. After I had finished the book I found myself remembering the names of all the bells. This book is worth the credit and will become an instant addiction for you!
This book is classed as a children's novel. Don't let this put you off. At times the writing is fairly simple and the story is not overly complicated. Despite this the book is a very good listen, helped by the always wonderful vocal talents of Tim Curry. I just hope that Audible get round to making the rest of the series available
This fantasy story is NOT just for children. Part quest, part coming-of-age story with a light touch of romance, this is a wonderfully entertaining book.
Sabriel is a dignified young woman who is just graduating from a private school when she discovers she is also the youngest in a line of powerful necromancers whose job it is to keep the dead at rest and away from the living. With her father's tools, and her father's servant, but without her father's knowledge of the Old Kingdom and its ways, she sets off to rescue her father from death.
Tim Curry is a perfect narrator for this audio version; he reinforces characterization, humor and dramatic tension with his versatile and alluring voice.
Please, dear Audible rights managers, bring us the sequels (Lisrael, and Abhorsen) as quickly as you can!
Garth Nix is one of my favorite fantasy novelists. Sabriel begins with a young woman leaving school after she receives a message that her father is in danger. She must travel into the Kingdom, across the Wall, and enter Death to find her father. In this fantastic three-book sequence, Nix creates an extraordinary world, full of magic and horror. Parents, if you are worried about younger readers scaring themselves, there is a scene sequence early on in Sabriel that is one of the scariest I've read. Definitely worth a pre-read if you're concerned. Tim Curry is my favorite audio book reader and he outdoes himself in this sequence!
garth nix is as amazing a writer as tim curry is a narrator. they both manage very well to capture the scariness and other-worldliness of death and spin it into a wonderful story. i am also very glad that Sabriel wasn't your typical damsel in distress. she was strong of spirit,mind,and body and always found a way through.
Grandma bibliophile! Audible books make reading with an active life possible.
I actually got this book because I'm such a Tim Curry listening fan. He is such an awesome reader, one of my absolute favorites. I never need to be told which character he is "speaking".
The book was an absolute delight. I used to work in my daughters school library and am known for being a fan of a lot of "teen" books anyway, I'd spend tons at the book fair "for her" and then read the books myself.
This book was just an excellent adventure, from start to finish with just enough suspense to keep you hanging and urging Sabriel on. Of course this title will be a personal referral to my local audible friends too!
This is the first Audiobook I have ever given a five star rating. Usually, I find some reason to give 4 stars or less. This book is fantastic. Tim Curry does a superb job at narrating the story, as can be expected. The author weaves a tale that traps you and won't let go. The world and characters created by the author are complete and perfectly flawed. You can see everything exactly as it should be if a movie were to be made of it, and a movie should be made of it!
I've loved Garth Nix for years. When I saw this fabulous coming-of-age story was narrated by Tim Curry, I did a happy dance. I was not disappointed. The story is still awesome and Mr. Curry's performance is phenomenal. Check out Lirael and Abhorsen, too!
Fantastic listen, gets you from the start, and swishs you away. If you like fantasy..this series is a must. This is one of those books that hooks you and even though you just started the first of the series, you want to slow it down and savor every minute of it..Tim Curry's naration no doubt makes this series the hit it is. GET IT, YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED