Saturday, May 17, 2014

Review - Sabriel by Garth Nix

Sabriel (Abhorsen, #1)
Genre: High Fantasy 
Published: September 1995
Audiobook - Read by Tim Curry (10hrs 30min) 

Ever since she was a child, Sabriel has lived outside the walls of the Old Kingdom, away from the random power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead that won't stay dead. But now her father, the Mage Abhorsen, is missing, and to find him Sabriel must cross back into that world.

Though her journey begins alone, she soon finds companions: Mogget, whose seemingly harmless feline form hides a powerful spirit; and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage long imprisoned by magic, now free in body but still trapped by painful memories. With only each other to trust, the three must travel deep into the Old Kingdom, toward a battle that will pit them against true forces of life and death -- and bring Sabriel face-to-face with her own hidden destiny.

This book has launched this series into my favorite series of all time all on its own. I was absolutely been drawn into this series and I cannot get enough of the story. If you read no further hear this, I highly recommend listening to the audiobook version of this book. Tim Curry's narration is fantastic.

Nix's writing is so engaging and had me totally engrossed in this story. The magic system is slightly confusing and there is a lot going on in this story, so you need to pay attention to keep up, but I really enjoyed this book. The world is complex and well described without an info-dumping section. The pacing overall is decent, but is a little slow in the beginning. However, the story seriously kicks it into high gear after a thorough introduction to the world and characters. I was laughing, crying and sitting on the edge of my chair after the first few chapters. I love the characters so much and I cannot wait to see how their lives play out over the course of the series.

Sabriel is a classic high fantasy novel that is not only a great introduction into this world, but a complete story on its own. I could stop reading after this book and have a satisfying ending, but I would NEVER want to because I know there are other books. The second book does follow a different character and has a time gap between the two books which is interesting. It makes this series more like a set of companion books and not a series according to what I've been told. I'll make a final verdict when I finish the books.

Finally I want to mention that Tim Curry's narration made this book for me. If I had read the physical book, I probably would have liked it, but the narration is so engaging and expressive that I fell in love with the story. I listened to the audiobook over the course of three days and when it was over I was disappointed I couldn't go back to the characters and continue their adventure with them. I am already listening to and enjoying book two, Lirial, and I have the third book ready for when I finish it.

I cannot recommend this book enough for fantasy lovers and I'm so sad that I've never picked this book up before (especially considering I've had book three since I was in middle school!)

Rating: 5/5 

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