Saturday, September 7, 2013
Book talk: Sabriel was dead when she was baptized. But there are benefits to being the Abhorsen's daughter. Her father followed her into the land of the dead and brought her back with him. Soon she was a living, screaming baby in his arms. Sabriel attended a private boarding school near the border, where the magic runs stronger. In addition to the classes all the other young ladies were expected to take she had private lessons from her father about how to deal with the dead who refuse to stay that way. While other children shied away from death, Sabriel kept death close around her like a cloak. Sabriel does not frighten easily, but when her father disappears she knows enough to be very, very afraid.
Rocks my socks: I absolutely loved the world-building of the novel. From the very beginning there's a sense of a complex history that is slowly revealed and informs every aspect of the novel from the way the soldiers act to the clothes that people wear. Everything is well thought out and strikingly original. The book is naturally rather dark, but there's a lot of hope to be found in it as well. Sabriel is relatable as she tries to cope with a difficult situation the best that she can and her relationship with Touchstone is completely charming. Plus there's a sassy talking cat character! You know I can't resist sassy talking cats!
Rocks in my socks: zip
Every book its reader: I'd give this to teens looking for a dark fantasy novel. Sabriel is more or less a zombie hunter so it would appeal to that set as well. For what it is, it isn't terribly violent. Sabriel mostly fights the zombies off using magical bells. I'd say it's fine for 6th grade and up.
Garth Nix has a website with a page on his writing process, a solo fantasy adventure, and a long, alphabetical list of book recommendations for those wondering what to read next.
The Old Kingdom Chronicles have their own site with information on the book as well as helpful information about the world: the seven bells, the nine gates of Death, and maps of the lands of the living.
If you need any further information about the novel the Old Kingdom wiki is a good place to turn.
Source: school library
Sabriel by Garth Nix: Buy it or check it out today!