Though her journey begins alone, she soon finds companions: Mogget, whose seemingly harmless feline form hides a powerful and perhaps malevolent spirit; and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage long imprisoned by magic, now free in body but still trapped by painful memories.
With threats on all sides and only each other to trust, the three must travel deep into the Old Kingdom, toward a battle that will pit them against the true forces of life and death, and bring Sabriel face-to-face with her own hidden destiny.
A tale of dark secrets, deep love and dangerous magic, Sabriel introduces Garth Nix as an exceptional new talent.
©1995 Garth Nix; (P)2002 Random House, Inc., Listening Library, An Imprint Of The Random House Audio Publishing Group
"It's an epic journey in a world as richly realized as Middle-earth and much darker and bloodier than Harry's trials at Hogwarts...Tim Curry brings authority to the reading, grounding the fantastic elements with nuance of character and depth of emotion. (AudioFile)
"Rich, complex, involving, hard to put down, this first novel...is excellent high fantasy." (Publishers Weekly)
"A page-turner for sure." (Booklist)
Sabriel is the daughter of the Abhorsen, a high necromancer whose main duty is to reverse the ills done by evil necromancers that are hell-bent on raising the dead and letting them rule the earth. She lives in a world where realistic early 20th century Great Britain co-exists with the ?Old Kingdom?, a place of magic, sorcery and fear of the undead. A border, guarded by soldiers from both realms, separates the two kingdoms. When Sabriel was five-years-old, her father sent her to a special school in the new kingdom, just near the border so that she would be protected from his enemies, but close enough to the border to learn the ways of the old kingdom. In this school his daughter learns necromancy and magic as well as ?real world? lessons such as etiquette and combat.
When the Abhorsen appears to Sabriel one night speaking through an undead minion, she learns that he is trapped in the world of the dead and she sets-off on a journey to free him. Along the way she learns of a great undead leader whose powers have grown to the extent where he may break the boundary dividing the land of the dead and the living, and no one in either kingdom will be safe from his rule.
As an aside, one of my favorite characters is an elemental of sorts who had been forced into servitude by an Abhorsen from centuries past. He has taken the shape of a cat, and though he has many ?cat mannerisms?, he speaks and is highly intellectual. His sarcastic comments and sharp wit made me laugh out loud on several occasions. He is Sabriel?s constant companion, a great help and a great pain in her behind all at the same time!
I could not stop listening to this book! Tim Curry reads it and there is no better voice for the undead than he! I highly recommend it. It is the first in a trilogy, and all three books have been received with high praise.
garth nix is really great at creating complex, beleivable worlds that are the right mix of similar and different from our own. every time i read one of his books i wonder how he thought up such original ideas. out of all his books i like this one the best, the characters a real and well rounded, the world is interesting and has depth and history, and the story is gripping. sabriel is a great character, a women who can fight the undead and save the prince! sweet! i reccomend this to people who like his dark materials, or are looking for a more developed book along the lines of harry potter.
I am 62 years old and found myself completely enraptured by the combination of Grath Nix's prose and Tim Curry's narration. I am thrilled to have discovered this series that now ranks #1 on my list of all time favorite fantasy novels.
This is the book that got me into reading. I was about 12 when I first read it and I couldn't put it down. It's as detailed as Lord of the Rings but it has a faster paece so you never get board reading or listening to it. Great book, if you like LOTR or Harry Potter.
Garth Nix's wonderfully engaging novel is read by Tim Curry, who brings a masterfully creepy voice to this tale of the girl who inherits the job of keeping the dead, dead. This is the first part of the Abhorsen trilogy, a must-read (or must-listen) for those into suspenseful, thrilling, well-written and -paced fantasy. A classic tale read by a master of camp creepiness.
Audible listener since the late 1990s. I mostly listen to science fiction, fantasy, history, and science.
After listening to this book, I was shocked that I had not previously heard of this wonderful series, which is one of the best of the written-for-children-but-better-for-adult fantasies in recent years, though more like Phillip Pullman than J. K. Rowling. Like Pullman, the series is ultimately rather dark, and it is a terrific example of coherent world-building -- figuring out how the world works is part of what makes the book so exciting. It is also excellently read, and is one of my top picks on Audible.
Paradoxically if an adult wants original fantasy literature (that is not Lord of the Rings redux) the best place to look is in the "teen" section. Sabriel is a great example. The reader is great and the story is even better. Very original, exciting, adverturous, and (since I can't get the next 2 books in the series on audio)it has me rushing to the bookstore to buy the two other books in the trilogy. Very fun. Don't miss it.
I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.
Garth Nix's novel was already a wonderful read: exciting, scary, funny, moving, imaginative, and vivid, with great characters (like Sabriel, Mogget, and Touchstone), inventions (like the River of Death and its Nine Gates, the Abhorsen, the Bells, and the paperwings), descriptions (like when dead "Hands" are edging closer to Sabriel and company like starving rats approaching a passed out drunk's meal), scenes (like the reservoir climax), dialogue (like almost anything Sabriel, Touchstone, and Mogget say to one another), and themes (like the sensual joy of life and the natural inevitability of death).
But Tim Curry enhances all of the book's virtues via his powerful, witty, and emotional reading of it. Curry's enthusiasm for and understanding of the text are engaging, and he effectively changes his voice for characters ranging from an evil undead villain and a hidebound headmistress to a conflicted Touchstone and a strong but panic-prone Sabriel. And I love his Mogget! Superior, mysterious, and, well, catty, with feline sibilants purring or snarling out the sides of his mouth.
In short, Tim Curry reading Garth Nix makes for an irresistible and thoroughly enjoyable listen.
I love most books that transport me to another time and place & books that uplift my spirit.
I'm a Garth Nix addict. His books are really imaginitive, interesting and fun. I'm waiting for the final installment for the other series he has, and I decided to give this series a shot and I was not disappointed.
I'm always looking for stories that are unique and fun. This is one of those. I'm already into the 2nd of the series, Lirael which is just as amazing as the first story.
Give it a shot, you won't be disappointed.
Tim Curry's wonderful voice brings alive this fantasy world. The use of bells as a fantasy power devise is unusual and dealing with the dead (and mostly dead) is sufficently creepy to keep you in your car long after the motor is off. I can hardly wait for Lirial and Abhorsen to come to the audio format as well.
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