I first read Sabriel probably 13 or so years ago now when I was in middle school or late elementary school; likely I chose the book because of the intriguing cover art. I read it, and LOVED IT. To this day there were turns of phrase and certain lines in the book that I remembered verbatim -- that's how skilled a writer Mr. Nix is. Most books I adored when I was an adolescent don't stand up as well to future re-reada as an adult, but Sabriel was actually even BETTER than I remembered. It is a thoroughly plotted, very tight, and well-paced book -- on top of being BEAUTIFULLY written. Seriously, Garth Nix has a grave, poignant, and resonant way with words. Everything about this book was a pure pleasure to partake in. 'Young Adult' my ass -- this book is in no way diluted to cater to a younger audience, except perhaps in that some of its primary characters are barely adult-aged.
But, I digress. My point: Sabriel stands not only the test of time, but actually comes out the better for it. Read this book. It is a treasure.
My favorite books are when rational characters are put into an interesting world and let go. Favorite narrators: Bronson Pinchot, Tim Curry
Like many reviewers here, I didn't realize Sabriel was YA before I listened to it, and I'm glad. It doesn't matter because it's a good story that is well-written and fun to listen to.
Easily the best part about the book is that the characters (both good and bad) make realistic, believable decisions and don't overlook obvious clues just to further a plot. The plot works because it's a good plot, the result of rational beings trying to achieve their goals in a way that is consistent with their abilities & intelligence. This should be obvious, but so many books disappoint when it comes to this.
There's nothing too ground-breaking, but the book is definitely set in an interesting world. Sabriel grows up in a mostly non-magical turn-of-the-20th-century country that borders a more Lord-of-the-Rings style fantasy realm where the dead walk free. There is traditional fantasy magic, but there are also interesting specializations, such as necromancy related to bringing back the dead (or sending them away again).
One aspect I loved was that Sabriel learned about the situation (the world, the magic, the major players) while things were already happening. No drawn out build-up, no long pages of narrator-driven backstory. And it worked - she was too busy (trying not to get killed, e.g.) to learn everything at once, so she had no choice but to get things in bits and pieces.
I almost forgot the narration. It's awesome! Tim Curry did a great job with the voices and I'm glad I listened (rather than read) this one. My own internal monologue would never have made Mogget nearly as fun!
If you are a fantasy reader who is a young adult, regular adult, whatever, I highly recommend Sabriel!
This was cliche, predictable, and far worse than I remembered it being. It is perhaps acceptable for a second grader, but wow....some books are really different from what I recalled. I thought this had a novel magic system....and it kind of did, but the characters were too blegh for me to focus on the paperwing or bells. Too bad.
Music is still forever in your Soul and art is forever in your Spirit!
love it. i read this book when I was a sophomore high school, and still love it! love the narrator! he is the most interesting character.
I love this series. For years I've heard Tim Curry narrated the first book. Recently, I've been on a re-read kick, so I looked up this version of Sabriel and am loving it! Tim does an excellent job with reading the characters and narrating overall. I really can't put the book down this time. I may have to start all over from the beginning since I've listened to it so much over the last couple of days. I definitely recommend this book!
Very high. Tim Curry reading a dark fantasy novel about necromancers is just so great.
I might compare this to Mistborn, in that they both do an excellent job of world building, have strong female leads, fantasy, and a slight steampunk bent. Otherwise, they are different stories, with Sabriel being more of an adventure type tale (with zombies). Mistborn is more of a "chosen one" narrative.
He really gets across the gothic atmosphere. He absolutely slays the role of Mogget, the sardonic little cat demon.
I found it very thrilling and really got lost in the intricate world the author built. I gasped a few times when particularly gruesome foes appeared.
If any of the following words appeal to you just do yourself a favor and listen to this book.
This book was recommended by s friend. I enjoyed the story- but I will admit to wondering why an elderly male voice was chosen for a book about a young female. I am on to the sequel...