Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction


Friday, June 17, 2016

Sabriel (1995) Garth Nix

Sabriel is the daughter of Abhorsen–the Charter necromancer who puts the restless dead beyond the ninth gate. She has been sent outside of the walls of the Old Kingdom for her education, seeing her father in person only a few times a year, but seeing him in death more frequently, as Abhorsen trains her in their arts.

Mrs. Umbrade certainly didn’t want to know how Sabriel saw her father. Sabriel, on the other hand, always looked forward to his unofficial visits and watched the moon, tracing its movements from the leather-bound almanac which listed the phases of the moon in both Kingdoms and gave valuable insights into the seasons, tides and other ephemerae that were never the same at any one time on both sides of the Wall. Abhorsen’s sending of himself always appeared at the dark of the moon.

I love this story.

Because of course there is Moggett.

(A)s the cat thrust its head up, she saw the collar around its neck and the tiny bell that hung there. The collar was only red leather, but the Charter-spell on it was the strongest, most enduring, binding that Sabriel had ever seen or felt— and the bell was a miniature Saraneth. The cat was no cat, but a Free Magic creature of ancient power.

Mogget yawned, showing a pink tongue that seemed to contain the very essence of scorn.

There are so many lovely bits about travel in a medieval kingdom, and how two travelers might work together.

“One, two, three, push!” announced Mogget. Sabriel pushed on “three” and Touchstone on “push,” so their combined effort took several seconds to synchronize.

Or perhaps not.

This is a YA book about death, but it’s not dark and depressing–there are some sad parts, but that is as it should be, for a book about a Charter necromancer.

The world-building is lovely, and Sabriel is marvelous, a young woman alone, yet not without resources.
Rating: 10/10

Published by HarperTeen


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