Sara's Reviews > Sabriel

Sabriel by Garth Nix
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really liked it
bookshelves: books-that-made-me-cry, fantasy, female-protagonists, magic-system-love, world-building-love, young-adult
Read 2 times. Last read April 10, 2016 to April 17, 2016.

Sabriel isn't just the Abhorsen's daughter. She's next in line to inherit his role as the Old Kingdom's necromancer, ensuring passed-on souls rest forever in Death. When the Abhorsen goes missing, Sabriel leaves her boarding school and returns to the Old Kingdom to save him. But an ancient, terrifying evil is regaining its powers, and its allies are keen on seeing it return - and keeping Sabriel from her mission. How can Sabriel rescue her father - if he's still alive - and find a way to send the darkest and most dangerous of all spirits back into Death?

Sabriel is a wonderful example of a YA fantasy with its own personality, one that's not shaped by overused tropes or forced romance. (FYI: There are hints of romance in Sabriel, but not many.) It also puts a noble spin on necromancy. Instead of raising the dead, Sabriel and the Abhorsen usher them into eternal sleep and protect the living from them. The world-building is carefully and gradually unearthed, including the realm of Death and an Abhorsen's responsibilities. As for characters, I adore Sabriel so much that it hurts! She's so smart, selfless, and sweet; and the burden she bears is such a weight, yet she never shies away from it. I also like the prince / guardian Touchstone for his integrity and dedication to Sabriel. And Mogget - what a clever twist on the talking-cat trope!

My only critiques on Sabriel are on the writing. At times it's very exposition-heavy, though I understand why. (Sabriel spends a good portion of the story alone.) Also, once Touchstone arrived, I wasn't thrilled with the "head-hopping" between him and Sabriel during single scenes. The engaging characters and vibrant, original world-building truly help Sabriel shine, though; and when the pulse-pounding climax begins, you will NOT want to put this book down. If you don't mind YA fantasies that break the mold or your heart, then Sabriel belongs on your bookshelf.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading (Paperback Edition)
June 7, 2015 – Shelved (Paperback Edition)
June 7, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read (Paperback Edition)
April 10, 2016 – Started Reading
April 10, 2016 – Shelved
April 10, 2016 –
page 12
2.44% "This wasn't on my "reading plan" for April, but it's been on my mind lately for some reason. I'm taking it as a sign that it's time to read it. ;)"
April 11, 2016 –
page 87
17.72% "A lot of narrative / exposition so far, but Sabriel's powers are fascinating. I don't think I've read about a character quite like her before."
April 12, 2016 –
page 136
27.7% "Now that's a neat twist on the talking-cat trope. :)"
April 13, 2016 –
page 236
48.07% "I kinda like Touchstone. I hope that continues. :)"
April 14, 2016 –
page 266
54.18%
April 15, 2016 –
page 309
62.93% "I need to start "going to bed" sooner - because it will give me more time to read before I'm ready to fall asleep. ;)"
April 16, 2016 –
page 408
83.1% "Still surprised I read almost 100 pages last night. Wow! But that was one of the most exciting parts of the book, so why not? :)"
April 17, 2016 – Finished Reading
April 19, 2016 – Shelved as: books-that-made-me-cry
April 19, 2016 – Shelved as: fantasy
April 19, 2016 – Shelved as: female-protagonists
April 19, 2016 – Shelved as: magic-system-love
April 19, 2016 – Shelved as: world-building-love
April 19, 2016 – Shelved as: young-adult

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