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Abhorsen [Hardcover]

Garth Nix
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 10.45 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Paperback 5.75  

Book Description

5 April 2004

The long-buried secrets of the Old Kingdom and the Ninth Gate are revealed in the sequel to Sabriel and Lirael.

Orannis, the Destroyer, has been freed from its subterranean prison and now seeks to unleash its terrible powers. Only Lirael, Abhorsen-in-Waiting, has any chance of stopping this enemy of all Life. As she and her companions – Sameth, the Disreputable Dog and Mogget – set out on their fated journey, Lirael has no idea of what lies ahead.
Only days earlier, Lirael was merely a Second Assistant Librarian. Now, with only a vision from the Clayr to guide her and without the experience of Abhorsen Sabriel and King Touchstone, she must search both Life and Death for some means to defeat the Destroyer. Before it is too late…

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks; First Edition edition (5 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007137346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007137343
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 478,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Garth Nix was born in 1963 and grew up in Canberra, Australia. After taking his degree in professional writing from the University of Canberra, he worked in a bookshop and then moved to Sydney. There he sank lower into the morass of the publishing industry, steadily devolving from sales rep through publicist until in 1991 he became a senior editor with a major multinational publisher. After a period travelling in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia in 1993, he left publishing to work as a marketing communications consultant . In 1999 he was lured back to the publishing world to become a part-time literary agent. He now lives in Sydney, a five-minute walk from Coogee Beach, with his wife Anna, son Thomas, and lots of books.

Product Description

Amazon Review

The third book in Garth Nix's Abhorsen trilogy is everything it promised to be and everything it could ever have been, coming as it did after Sabriel and Lirael--two of the most riveting fantasy novels in recent years. More a continuation of Lirael than Sabriel, which was set 20 years before it's sequel, Abhorsen nevertheless completes this outstanding sequence of books with considerable style and a consistent quality of prose that is enviable and to be admired.

The book opens in the Abhorsen's house in the Old Kingdom where Lirael, the Abhorsen-in-waiting and Prince Sameth, Sabriel's heir, are contemplating their next manoeuvre. They are surrounded on all sides by the dead, marshalled into action by Chlorr of the Mask--a Greater Dead in league with the necromancer Hedge. He in turn is working towards the resurrection of Orannis, the Destroyer. With no word from Sabriel or King Touchstone, the situation is perilous. The Old Kingdom and its neighbouring Ancelstierre are in political turmoil, unaware of the menace that is about to be unleashed from it's subterranean prison.

With the expert company of the Disreputable Dog and mysterious cat Mogget, both wielders of powerful free magic, Lirael and Sam must escape in order to save all Life from doom. Their subsequent trek across these magical lands is perilous and spectacular… and not without a high cost.

Volumes one and two of this altogether thrilling saga are essential reading before attempting to grapple with Abhorsen. Nix's worlds are complex and rich and his characters many and multi-dimensional. From the unexpectedly devastating prologue, through to the nail-biting dénouement, the author demonstrates just how at home he is in this genre. His imagination is raw and exciting, and his novels don't get much better than this. (Age 10 and over) --John McLay


“At once an allegory regarding war and peace and a testament to friendship, this thought-provoking fantasy also resolves the true identities of the popular Dog and Mogget characters-and suggests that Nix may still have more tricks up his sleeve.” Publishers Weekly

“Fans will be overjoyed.” School Library Journal

Praise for Sabriel…
“Sabriel is a winner, a fantasy that reads like realism. I congratulate Garth Nix.” Philip Pullman

“Fast pace, drama, vivid descriptions, excitement and humour… What more could you want?” The Guardian

"Every publisher thinks they have the next great children's fantasy writer. Harper Collins know they have." Nick Holt, AML

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A trilogy that will not die 22 May 2005
The third in the Garth Nix Trilogy about the supernatural adventures of Sabriel, Lirael, Touchstone, Mogget, The Disreputable Dog, Sanar, Ryelle, Ellimere and Sameth. They are the only ones who can re-establish what the seven strove to do long before.
This is a book about magic, supernatural creatures, the fight to overcome destruction by an evil force and cameraderie.
I loved this book because all the characters are colourfully described and the story was well structured, well written and compulsive.
This trilogy was the best read I have read for a long time. It is suitable for the ages of 11-17 years old. Start with Sabriel and read them in the correct order or you will be confused.
If you have read the first two books of the trilogy: Sabriel and Lirael then you will love Abhorsen. In fact if you read the first two, you won't be wondering whether to buy Abhorsen, but how quickly you can get your hands on it. If you haven't started this trilogy yet then you should.... you will not be dissappointed if you like supernatural fictional adventure.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seminal Young Adult Fantasy 24 Jan 2005
By Zoe
I'd say this is my favourite fantasy book ever. The reasons are numerous - the beautifully fleshed out characters, the blisteringly original ideas, well realised and logical magical systems, unique and beautiful world...I could go on.
The ending of this book, beautifully foreshadowed and movingly written, should be taught in schools. I cry every time I read it - and that's not because of heavy handed sentimentalism but through delicate and powerful writing.
Now to handle a couple of criticisms I see here in the reviews section. The first is that this book is not quite as good as Sabriel. I'm afraid that this isn't the case. Technically, the writing is in fact far superior - more evocative, more precise, and showing far less evidence of 'info dump' syndrome. The story is also a lot deeper, and the characters of Lirael and Sam, flawed as they are, are more convincing than perfect, noble Sabriel and Touchstone (much though I love them). The second criticism is that Nix used a 'deux ex machina' to end this book. 'Deux ex Machina' literally means 'God in the machine' - where some powerful other force comes along and gets the hero out of a mess from which he cannot extrict himself. It is a hallmark of sloppy writing. This term is inaccurate: Nix puts his characters in a position to solve the problems that oppose them, and they do, after much pain and sacrifice. There's no miraculous solution, and no hint of a panicky writer using Deux ex Machina to fix his plot problems.
I'd say that this book is an essential read for any lover of fantasy. It explores new ideas with such verve that it has had a huge effect on the YA and fantasy genres; and for that alone it deserves its bestseller status. But it's also a thumping good story. So buy it!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolute Masterpiece 12 April 2005
Abhorsen is an increadible book. The entire book is written in a very graceful but yet very easy to understand style. There are certain parts in Abhorsen that are very well detailed and very sad.
The plot continues from Lirael, about the necromancer Orannis who's goal is to destroy the world. The people chosen by destiny to foil Orannis' plots are few; Lirael, Sabriel, Touchstone, the representatives of the Clayr, and Prince Sameth. Orannis has controlled a lesser necromancer called Hedge to force (by finding people in death and binding them to a necromancers will) spirits to work for him. Unfortunately, Nick, unwittingly walked into Hedge, was bound to the necromancers will, and was unwittingly about to cause the destruction of the world.
Abhorsen ends the 'old kingdom' series stunningly. The previous two books, Sabriel and Lirael were very interesting and very well written, and Abhorsen only outdoes it predecesor, Lirael. The only problem about Abhorsen is that it is the continuation of Lirael, which ended on a cliffhanger. Abhorsen picks up almost exactly where Lirael left off so it is essential to read Lirael before you read this.
Abhorsen has finished the series so that Garth Nix still has space to write a sequel (or another story related to Abhorsen), thank goodness, as many people especially the people who enjoyed the 'old kingdom' series, will want to read more.
It is quite rare to have a series that has a great first book, second book, and third book. Usually the first book will be the best, the second very disappointing, and the third slightly better, though no-where near matching the quality and style of the first.
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88 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly enjoyable ending to Lirael 28 Jan 2004
By h3rne
It is misleading to call this a sequel to Lirael when in fact it is actually the second half of the story - I would not recommend reading this book without having read Lirael first (in fact I would suggest strongly that you purchase both together!) Neither does this second book (Lirael + Abhorsen) do more than touch tangentially on the characters in Sabriel. However, for me the characters are almost secondary to the world Nix has created and I have high hopes that he will continue to explore this complex and clever setting in further books.
The only reservation I have, is Nix's tendency to continually pit his young and inexperienced central characters against overwhelmingly powerful adversaries, and then use some kind of "deus ex machina" to have them succeed. This repeated pattern throughout the three books so far begins to feel formulaic at times.
That said, the prologue will have your heart in your mouth, and the pace rarely lets up from then on (I read the book in a single evening, simply unable to put it down). The characters are well drawn - Sabriel and Sameth continue to struggle with their respective identities, whilst Mogget is ever enigmatic (or perhaps merely capricious) in word and deed. The disreputable dog remains a ludicrously invulnerable, but faithful servant (but at least we get to understand why come the final denouement).
Finally, most convincing of all, is Nix's depiction of his world - this interface between a pre-electronic (1950's?) Britain and a world of magic where the dead walk and machinery fails is convincingly drawn. The magic is internally consistent and lucidly described, and the detailed and well thought out 'Nine Precincts of Death' add a tangible sense of realism that is often lacking in this genre.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
Bought this after reading Sabriel. Garth Nix does not disappoint, but struggled to make the connection between the books to begin with.
Published 10 days ago by J. B. Connor
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent series of books
Excellent book looking forward to the new book have a kindle so I can always sat down with a cup of tea
Published 13 days ago by Stewart Renz
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
The Abhorsen trilogy has always been my favorite book series, ever since I first got my hands on Sabriel. Fantastic series, I loose myself in the Old Kingdom every time.
Published 1 month ago by Terri Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book ever
Seriously I love this series. Read it as a teenager, wanted to read it again as it was so memorable.
Published 2 months ago by Mr. Stephen W. Ballard Ltd
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!
This is such an amazingly brilliant series, I love it! Really I consider this book and Liriel as one in my mind, I can't remember where Liriel ends and this begins! Read more
Published 7 months ago by lovesbooks
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read
Enjoyable end to the trilogy, but not something I'd have followed through with had it not been for my need to finish a series
Published 12 months ago by jwhezzy
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read
This writer is really imaginative. This is the third book in the trilogy. Very absorbing, looking forward to more from this writer.
Published 18 months ago by Sharon Pogson
5.0 out of 5 stars A Surprisingly Good Read
This fantasy was recommended by readers on Goodreads. Had I realised, before I started to read, that this book is aimed at young adults, I probably wouldn't have bothered. Read more
Published on 12 May 2012 by Stuart Aken
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, pure escapism!
I loved this book. It continues the story of Lirael (which is also fab!)and draws all events in that book to a conclusion. Read more
Published on 2 May 2012 by Jude
5.0 out of 5 stars The Abhorsen Trilogy
Abhorsen is the final book in a trilogy by the author Garth Nix, pitched at the teen market but enjoyable at any age. Read more
Published on 18 April 2011 by M. E. Garthwaite
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