Narilka's Reviews > Sabriel

Sabriel by Garth Nix
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really liked it
bookshelves: audio, favorites, read-in-2016, d-j-reads, read-in-2019, fbr
Read 2 times. Last read January 21, 2019 to January 29, 2019.

Reread 1/29/19. Well, relisten. I needed an audio book with a narrator I love to reset after a bad narrator from my previous audio book! Sabriel is narrated by Tim Curry and he is phenomenal. This listen really hit the spot, great story and great narration :) I wasn't originally intending to reread the whole trilogy but I think I will. Review from 2016 below.


Sabriel by Garth Nix is the first book in The Abhorson trilogy. The story opens fairly ominously with the death of a woman and child. The series of events that unfolds in the prologue grabs the attention and sets the stage nicely. We are introduced to two of the world's types of magic, given a little foreshadowing for what's to come and a slightly eerie tone is set. Once the story starts, we're gradually introduced to the world. Ancelstierre has a feeling of 1940's England while the Old Kingdom feels distinctly like medieval Europe where Free Magics and creatures that go bump in the night now reign. The two kingdoms are separated by a wall and crossing the border is like taking a portal to another world where even the weather is different. And, quite naturally, that wall is failing.

The characters we get to know are also excellent. Sabriel is a great fantasy heroine. She's a smart, clear headed, strong and a well balanced character. She looks at problems logically to make informed decisions and isn't afraid to take action. Touchstone starts off fairly annoying. It's obvious that he's more than just a guardsman and his servile attitude at first is grating. I'm glad the character out grows this habit as the story progresses. Nix had a lot of fun with Mogget. Mogget is the perfect magical entity in the form of a feline that both says and does things I can imagine a cat would.

The story is well paced. The action and suspense is superb. The final climax had me sitting on the edge of my seat the entire time. I love the eerie/creepy undertone that is carried throughout the book. It's exactly what you'd expect when dealing with the dead that don't want to stay dead. Nix has a refreshing take on necromantic magic that was quite fun to read. There is even an understated romance plot that is quite sweet and not at all like today's YA stories of instant love.

I listened to the audio book of this narrated by Tim Curry. I think I could listen to Tim Curry read from the dictionary! He is especially fun at narrating villains and magical creatures. That said, his depiction of a young girl's voice at the beginning of the story is so bad I laughed out loud.
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Reading Progress

May 17, 2016 – Started Reading
June 19, 2016 – Finished Reading
September 26, 2016 – Shelved
September 26, 2016 – Shelved as: audio
September 29, 2016 – Shelved as: favorites
November 2, 2016 – Shelved as: read-in-2016
November 13, 2016 – Shelved as: d-j-reads
January 21, 2019 – Started Reading
January 29, 2019 – Shelved as: read-in-2019
January 29, 2019 – Shelved as: fbr
January 29, 2019 – Finished Reading

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