Jessica's Reviews > Abhorsen

Abhorsen by Garth Nix
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's review
Feb 01, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: brainy-chicks-holla, dark-and-creepy, fantasy, fierce-ladies, shed-some-tears, theres-a-prince-yall, ya, war, reviewed-books, zombies-yo
Read from February 01 to 06, 2011

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, prepping myself for a letdown.

AND WHAT IS THIS? LIRAEL UP IN HERE WITH A DECENT PERSONALITY AND ACTUAL CHARACTER GROWTH? SAM COMING OF AGE AND SHAPING UP LIKE A BOSS? MOGGET AND DOG REMAINING THEIR FLY SELVES AS THEY FACE THE CRAZIEST PLOT EVER? Alright, my capslock!Harry moment has passed. And I might have exaggerated a smidge, but seriously. This book was pretty epic. Dare I say, more epic than Sabriel? (Come on! The last third of the book I kept saying, “Whatever are they going to make it out of this!” or “As if someone ain’t gonna die right now!” and “There’s no way! NO WAY!”—and the first two-thirds of the book I had already been on the edge of my seat!).

Now, I’d like to address something that I haven’t really mentioned in my previous reviews of the series. Most noticeably in books 1 and 3, there are really great and subtle messages sent about the gender stereotypes we’ve picked up in our lifetimes. Plenty of my favorite action heroines (be it movies or books) have to inevitably come up against some douche who refuses to answer to a girl of all things (or remember that awesome scene in RotK when Eowyn’s like, “I am no man! You look upon a woman!” and the audience goes crazy and everyone’s fist-pumping?). But, like, the story can be set 200 years in the future, in space, and some jerk acts like it’s the craziest thing in the world to see a woman save the day. That sucks, no doubt, but almost worse is when the story is set in an alternate freaking reality (usually fantasy with magic and dragons and crap), and people are still shamelessly sexist. Like, really, screenwriter/author? It made sense to you to make this completely fictional world hate women, too? But wizards live forever and stuff, right?

In the Abhorsen trilogy, the roles of men and women are pretty evenly distributed between the sexes. There are both male and female royal guards and it ain’t no big thang, some tribes have matriarchs and others patriarchs, and the people of the Old Kingdom answer to the female Abhorsen and the King with equal loyalty and reverence. I mean, that just makes sense to me. If magic has existed in a world since the beginning of time, than freaking equal rights should have as well.

Anywho, all-in-all, a fantastic book. It somehow successfully made me love Lirael after raging against her so much before, it totally does justice to anything left wanting regarding the mythos of the world in Sabriel (you get to see all of the nine gates of Death, so awesome!), and it kind of outdoes the final battle scene of Sabriel as well…a great conclusion! (Although I wouldn’t say no to another book in the series…)
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Reading Progress

02/03/2011 page 162
44.0% "Lirael is sucking a lot less in this book! Congrats, Lirael! Keep it up, girl."
05/03/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Jason I think they are coming out with another Abhorsen book called Clariel, it comes out next year xD

Jessica yay! And I'm glad you enjoyed Abhorsen!

Brenna Haha, I just sat up and read two hundred pages of this book. I am stopping at Part 3 only because I have to get some sleep! I have a feeling that I will feel exactly the same as you when I am done, and I was pumped to read your review because it lets me know that I won't be let down!

Brenna Update: I finished the book, and "shed-some-tears" is right! I bawled at the end!

Jessica Brenna wrote: "Update: I finished the book, and "shed-some-tears" is right! I bawled at the end!"

Yay, love it when someone has the same experience! What a fantastic way to end the series. I have a copy of Across the Wall: A Tale of the Abhorsen and Other Stories that I have been meaning to read. If you read it first, let me know what you think!

message 6: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz Fun fact which might explain why you feel this way about Lirael and Abhorsen - they were originally one massive book and Garth Nix had to split them up for publication.

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