Sabriel by Garth Nix. Review

Title: Sabriel

Author: Garth Nix

Format read: paperback

Publication date: 30th September 1996

Page Count: 491 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

Genre: fantasy

Star rating: ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Synopsis: Sabriel belongs to the Old Kingdom. She is last in the line of Abhorsens, a kind of reverse necromancer who returns the dead to the realm of the dead instead of bringing them back. But Sabriel has been brought up at school in Ancelstierre across the wall where magic is rare and the dead don’t come walking as often. So she’s completely unprepared when her father goes missing and she is called back over the wall to try and find him.

I first read Sabriel when I was around 13 years old and I loved the whole series so much. I’ve been meaning to do a reread for ages but you know how the tbr gets in the way. Anyway I finally got around to it and I was really nervous because some other books I’ve reread that I loved when I was younger felt too immature or not as good as I remembered. Thank goodness this was not the case with Sabriel.

Sabriel is such a unique book, I’ve never read anything like it and I forgot how unique Garth Nix’s storytelling is. Sabriel along with Philip Pullman’s Lyra was probably one of the first strong female leads I ever read. She’s fierce, determined, completely unprepared but ready to fight for those she loves and to go in and rescue the kingdom and I adore her for it. Then there’s the magic system; I love the charter and it’s entire design of goodness and the way it can’t really be corrupted, I love the idea of the gates of death and of the free magic and the way that can be corrupted. This book has everything, a fierce female lead, power, politics, corruption, a broken kingdom, a split between the ‘now’ world and another magical world just over the wall, there is some insta love but we can forgive that in the grand scheme of the masterpiece that surrounds it.

Safe to say I will still fiercely recommend Sabriel and the entire Old Kingdom series to everyone just as much now aged 28 as I did when I was 13.


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