Sabriel - by Garth Nix

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Prof. Tarma Amelia Black
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Sabriel - by Garth Nix

Post by Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:02 pm

I'm reading Sabriel for Book Club's September book, and just finished it and am claiming it for Book Bingo! Thing is, there is no other review yet, for which I can post an 'answer', so here is an initial review that others can add their own reviews to. I'll be glad that others add to it, because my own review ... isn't the one which says this book gets 6 out of 5 stars! :lol:

Title of the book: Sabriel
Author: Garth Nix
Series: Yes (Abhorsen Series)
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure, Fantasy/Magic
Short summary of the story: Sabriel is the daughter of The Abhorsen, and is in school far away from the realm where magic operates. She, however, has familiarity with that realm, and when summoned to deal with matters there, is quite capable of doing so. She searches for her missing father and finds herself taking his place in the doing of it.

The Goodreads writeup says
Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him.

With Sabriel, the first installment in the Abhorsen series, Garth Nix exploded onto the fantasy scene as a rising star, in a novel that takes readers to a world where the line between the living and the dead isn't always clear—and sometimes disappears altogether.
This is what I just posted there: This is one of the books where, while the people in it are fine, and Sabriel herself is one tough cookie, I just cannot wrap my head around the 'magic' in the book, so as a whole, it is a good read but not one I'd go to for a re-read.
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Prof. Gustavo Flores
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Re: Sabriel - by Garth Nix

Post by Prof. Gustavo Flores » Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:22 am

I want to claim Sabriel as well for my Book Bingo card!! :)

I finished reading the book last week and I couldn't agree more with you Tarma. Yes. I had big troubles understanding the magic at first. In a way, it reminded me of Acient Runes,making the connection of reading the runes with reading the charter marks, although I know the marks have no relation with Divination, they are powerful as well. The magic it is indeed complex and difficult, far more difficult, I believe, than using a wand and casting a spell, so I praise Sabriel for her strength of mind and managingt to work all that complex magic.

Although Sabriel has good qualities, she didn't make it to the top of my favorite female leads :(. I think her character lacked charm, remembrance. I don't think she was plain, but I don't know, I never made a connection with her. So that was my main problem with the book, and if the main problem with a book is the protagonist, then I have major issues with the reading as a whole.

So yes. I don't think the book was boring, but I never really felt engaged with it, except for some few parts. So, like Tarrma, I don't feel I would like to re-read it, but still I'm happy I gave the book an opportunity :)
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Maxim Trevelyan
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Re: Sabriel - by Garth Nix

Post by Maxim Trevelyan » Tue May 08, 2018 7:48 pm

I read Sabriel first around 2005, sadly I did not have time to read it for the discussion in September, so I decided to reread it month or so ago. It was a great experience rereading this book and I really should do it more often.

I think Sabriel is a wonderful role model and a heroine. Usually with books like these, heroines seem to lack a certain fervor for life beside adventuring, heart if you will, but Sabriel is a young woman with her own goals and morals, managing to uphold them without really giving in to the evil forces. You really get a feel that she is human and behaves really naturally for someone who was written by an author of the opposite gender.

My only real issue that I have with this book is that some certainly imagery, like lands where the story is going on is a bit vague and mysterious, but they are explored in later books.
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