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(Abhorsen #3)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  120,774 ratings  ·  2,684 reviews
Beneath the earth, a malignant force lies waiting, greedy for freedom from its ancient prison. As the Old Kingdom falls once more into a realm of darkness and terror, the people look desperately to the Abhorsen, the scourge of the Dead, to save them. Yet Abhorsen Sabriel is lost, missing in Ancelstierre.

Only Lirael has any chance of stopping the Destroyer. With her compani
Paperback, 420 pages
Published September 1st 2014 by Allen & Unwin (first published January 2003)
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Sam Wescott I'm listening to the audiobook read by Tim Curry (squeal!) and he pronounces it with a hard "H" like abhor-sun.…moreI'm listening to the audiobook read by Tim Curry (squeal!) and he pronounces it with a hard "H" like abhor-sun.(less)
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  120,774 ratings  ·  2,684 reviews

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Charlotte May
4.5 stars!
This series just keeps getting better!

We find Lirael and Sam immediately after book 2, on the hunt for Sam’s friend Nick and the evil he has accidentally gotten himself trapped in. Along with the Disreputable Dog and Mogget the cat we are taken on a fantastic ride through a world where the dead don’t stay dead!

“Confused Dead Hands staggered out of her way, gobbling their distress from their decayed throats.”

Nix has created such an incredible magic system; with both Charter Magic - t

Can I just say how shocked I am by how good this book was? I mean, I guess everything that happened in Lirael was necessary in setting the stage for Abhorsen, but man did Lirael put a damper on the Old Kingdom high I got from Sabriel. In book 2, Lirael was mopey, annoying, and the Mary-Sue from Hell. Sam was pretty angsty, too, and the book felt entirely like exposition with no real pay off at the end (with a long ways to go). Needless to say, I approached Abhorsen with distrust and apprehension
TS Chan
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Abhorsen is a great conclusion to a narrative arc which started with Lirael, the second book in the series.

The two main characters introduced in the previous book, Lirael and Prince Sameth, have now accepted their respective legacies and fate in what is to become a fight for the survival of the very world itself. Finally, we have a lot more action, a lot less moping and some solid character growth with two young protagonists, both who have vast potential stemming from their unique bloodlines. T
Dannii Elle
This is the third instalment in the Abhorsen series.

Decades divided the events between the first and second books, but this one followed directly on from the former instalment. Lirael is the abhorsen-in-waiting, Sam is descended from Wall Makers, and their animal companions, who are less easy to classify, make up the rest of the fearsome foursome intent on saving the kingdom from the dark designs of the dead. Action dominated but tears marked the end and I was not okay!
May 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I honestly just found this anti-climatic. Especially when compared to the first two.The conclusion just continues on for the spin off books; which I do understand.

Sam’s growth in this was wonderful; I hated him in the second book but in this one I really rooted for him.

I am interested in reading Goldenhand to find out what happens to Lirael and Nicolas.

I just felt that this book and the previous one could have been shortened down to one big book instead of being dragged out over two when some of
4.5 to 5.0 stars. Having just finished this, the final book in the Abhorsen Trilogy, I have to say that it RANKS AMONG THE BEST YA FANTASY SERIES I have ever read. The world created by Garth Nix composed of the Northern Old Kingdon (where magic exists) sitting side by side with the South (looking much like an early 20th century city in Europe) is so realistically portrayed that the whole story comes to life. The interplay between these two realms is very well done.

Add to that one of the most in
Caz (littlebookowl)
Probably my favourite of the series so far! I adore these characters (especially the Disreputable Dog)!
Victoria Schwab
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This has become one of my favorite series of all time.
Lindsey Rey
[3.5 Stars]
I liked the ending, but I've decided I'm not the biggest fan of Garth Nix's writing style.
"Wherever you walk, I will be there."


This third installment, the end of the main trilogy, was pretty darn good. There's something about Garth Nix's writing that just really does it for me. The subtle humor and wit, the syntax and sentence structure. It's all just so great. I love everything about it!

The world is the best fantasy world ever, in my not so humble opinion. It isn't overbearing, but it's intricate and unique and dark without being grimdark. Death is probably the coolest setting
I think probably the best way to describe what it's like to read the Abhorsen trilogy is to compare it to a snowball rolling down a very, very large hill. We are all familiar with this metaphor--it basically implies that the thing being compared metaphorically moves faster and becomes MORE on the way down, whether that thing is the plot or your emotions as a reader, or both. Abhorsen is like this, but also THE SNOWBALL IS ON FIRE.

Sabriel introduced the world, the characters (most of them), the m
Joey Woolfardis
I first read these when I was much younger, probably just a few years after they were published. I must confess, before I started them I could barely recall them at all, aside from a few episodes from the first book, Sabriel. I had hastily added 3 or 4 stars to them when I transferred them to GoodReads, so they must have had a lasting impression on me for me to do that.

Second re-through and I could see a little why I liked them, but they weren't the kind of thing I would love to read nowadays. I
Montzalee Wittmann
Wouldn't be better if I had read previous books
Heather Turner
Apr 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young Adult, Adult
Shelves: readandloved
As in "Sabriel" and "Lirael," Death is a riverine chasm from which the dead can be called back to the living by powerful necromancers. Only the Abhorsen (Sabriel) or the Abhorsen-in-waiting (Lirael) can pass from life into the river of Death, through the eight Gates of fog, whirlpools, waterfalls, and shadow, and do magical combat with the necromancers in their own dark realm...

Well, the Disreputable Dog can splash into Death, too and in "Abhorsen" you'll find out who she really is, along with M
Sep 09, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So everything I held against Book Two, Lirael, was released in Abhorsen. The book races, literally and figuratively - I read it in a day. The climax is beautiful, BEAUTIFUL, with all the characters you love and hate from all three books playing their part with some powerful punches. It also drags torturously through some characters' descents into madness which is, well, maddeningly written, curse Nix and his talent.

I adored this trilogy and wish people would stop resisting me forcing it upon th
BAM the enigma
Audio #56

So far this is looking like the best of the three! I think it’s because I’m getting g a lot of Tim Curry’s Moggat voice
May 13, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The thrilling conclusion to an amazing not-quite-a-trilogy-anymore trilogy. My only problem with the story was always that it felt like some things were unresolved but the fact that the series continues fixes that. I absolutely loved rereading this as an adult and picked up a lot more themes and context that I think I missed when I was a young reader.

In Abhorsen, we follow our main characters from the last book Lireal and Sameth as they face off against a huge and deadly enemy.

While Lirael had
Oct 04, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: necromancers
Shelves: fantasy, y-a
So now that I'm done with the trilogy I'll say that it was Great. I read the last book so fast, I think I read it in two days? Maybe three. Anyways, the climax is good (and not painfully predictable like book 2) and the characters are developed so well by the end that I was just sucked in. My face even scrunched up at the end when one character... you know. It always happens to someone. The fact that I even thought about crying is quite a feat for an author, since I pride myself on stoicism when ...more
What a stunning conclusion to an amazing trilogy. The scope of the conclusion - which covers the foundation of the Charter - was incredible and tied up several loose ends. I can't wait to read more about Lirael and Nicholas. ...more
Nemo (The ☾Moonlight☾ Library)
Despite their new destinies, Lirael and Sam continue their plan to recue Nick and stop whatever he is unearthing. Slowly the pair come to discover what it is: Lirael embraces her destiny as not only the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, but a Remembrancer as well, someone who can See the past like her Clayr sisters can See the future. Sam, relieved he no longer has to deal directly with Death, embraces his destiny as a royal Wallmaker – his hobby of inventing and his powerful skill as a Charter Mage really p ...more
A better-paced story than Lirael - in part because Lirael and Abhorsen are basically one complete story split into two, and while Lirael's plot involves the Old Kingdom being snared in the villain's plans - while the two main characters angst about their role in life - Abhorsen's plot is full speed ahead to confrontation.

One thing bothers me about the world-building though. The Old Kingdom exists thanks to an ancient binding contract that depends on three bloodlines. And there's an awful lot of
Jun 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very satisfying end to an excellent series. I have really enjoyed the author's world building which includes charter magic, travels into Death,the Wall and much more. There have also been some tremendous characters, Mogget and the Disreputable Dog being two of my personal favourites. There was plenty of action in this last book and I was very happy to see Sabriel and Touchstone returning at last to share in the final outcome. This is a series I would happily recommend to anyone who li ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I would like to give this book four stars. it has some wonderful moments and it tells a good story. On the whole I enjoyed it, but not four stars worth.


First sadly it's just not as good as the first book in this "series" (I'll explain the quotes later.) I really liked Sabriel and had these on my "get them list" for a long time. This book picks up just as the second volume (Lireal) ends. Unfortunately (for me) Lireal dragged down and became such a slow and tedious book I was almost in tears
Jonathan Terrington
The world of Abhorsen is a fascinating world between death and life. Set predominantly in the Old Kingdom, this is the conclusion to the trilogy (although there is now also a prequel book) that begun with Sabriel. However, sadly, I fell in love with the world more than I fell in love with the book itself. Unlike with Harry Potter where I began to enjoy the later books more than the initial few - due to the charm of the books matching the storytelling and character development - I feel as if the ...more
Teno Q.
Aug 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, fantasy
Abhorsen takes three-hundred-plus pages to take Lirael, Sam, the Dog and Mogget from Point A - the Abhorsen's house in the Old Kingdom - to Point B - the Lightening Farm in Ancelstierre. Throughout the book, the main goal was to go there, fast fast fast, hurry hurry hurry hurry. It is much the same in the first book, Sabriel. Some might find it exciting and adventurous but I simply found it tiring.

When they reach Ancelstierre, they must stop stop stop the hemispheres hemispheres hemispheres fro
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Frankly, this book bored me. I can finish a modern fantasy book I moderately like in one night, so when I say it took me weeks to read this book, you can see that something really went wrong here.

I liked Sabriel- it was fresh and fascinating, an entertaining read, though not a favourite. Plenty of action, great world building. Then along came Lirael. Also a good read, and different enough from the first to keep me interested. I liked reading about the Clayr, and the angstiness of the characters
A great conclusion to this story arc with great characters and necromancy.
Melissa McShane
Jan 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, fantasy
I liked this better the second time around, and that is due entirely to Tim Curry's masterful narration. The ending was positively edge-of-your-seat exciting. It holds together better as its own book than I remembered, too.

What was particularly noticeable, in a good way, was how Nix kept the stakes high by giving the heroes a lot of little but believable setbacks on the way to the final confrontation with the evil entity Orannis. I especially liked Prince Sameth's needing to negotiate with the S
This was a pretty damned great ending to the trilogy. Lirael goes through so much character development in the course of this book, becoming more confident in her powers as Remembrancer and Abhorsen-in-Waiting. Sam becomes more courageous and confident as well, Mogget and the Disreputable Dog are great throughout, and like I said last time, we get a much greater view into Death than ever before.

Basically, Sabriel is still my favourite book of the series, but this one's still pretty dam
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Garth Nix was born in 1963 in Melbourne, Australia, to the sound of the Salvation Army band outside playing 'Hail the Conquering Hero Comes' or possibly 'Roll Out the Barrel'. Garth left Melbourne at an early age for Canberra (the federal capital) and stayed there till he was nineteen, when he left to drive around the UK in a beat-up Austin with a boot full of books and a Silver-Reed typewriter.


Other books in the series

Abhorsen (6 books)
  • Sabriel (Abhorsen,  #1)
  • Lirael (Abhorsen, #2)
  • Clariel (Abhorsen, #4)
  • Goldenhand (Abhorsen, #5)
  • Terciel and Elinor (The Old Kingdom, #6)

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