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Sabriel (Abhorsen Trilogy) Audio CD – Audiobook, 14 Oct 2008

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Listening Library; Unabridged edition (14 Oct 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739368257
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739368251
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 3 x 15.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (244 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,260,000 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

This may be the first book of yet another "cross-over" fantasy trilogy--theoretically equally appealing to both children and adult readers--but thankfully Sabriel has enough verve and panache about it to reach just such a wide readership and to ensure that author Garth Nix has created a bandwagon all of his own. Constantly rich and meaty, the story is intriguing from the off. Page by page the tension builds and draws you into a highly imaginative landscape that has familiarity and originality in equal measures.

Sabriel attends Wyverley Girls College in Ancelstierre (Nix's version of normal) and has recently graduated with runaway firsts in every subject. But her particular school has certain extra-curricular activities, like the learning of Magic, because of its proximity to the Wall which marks Ancelstierre's border with the Old Kingdom. Over the wall, life is very different and the use of magic is commonplace. Then, on the edge of death, Sabriel's father, Abhorson, sends her a cryptic message that means she must venture into the Old Kingdom and calm the storm that is brewing there, and which will surely multiply at her father's passing. Refusing to accept his fate, Sabriel inherits the tools of her father's trade and his name. Her new duty is to lay the disturbed dead back to rest with the help of seven powerful bells worn across the chest. Sabriel seeks her father's slayer in a mammoth journey that is hindered by dark magic, monsters-a-plenty and shadowy unsubstantial evils.

The narrative builds into a luxurious tale of good versus evil, with a re-assuringly likeable central character to take us through it all. Nix's writing is solid and well-planned, his prose convincing and rounded. Make a note to look up the sequels Lirael and Abhorsen in due course--they're unlikely to disappoint. (Ages 10 and over)--John McLay --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Sabriel is a winner, a fantasy that reads like realism. Here is a world with the same solidity and four-dimensional authority as our own, created with invention, clarity and intellience." Philip Pullman

“I think Garth Nix has created a really remarkable and persuasive wold, and done it in the grand style of high fantasy and heroic romance, with some wonderful twists and turns. His Sabriel is a heroine truly worthy of that role.” Lloyd Alexander

“Rich, complex, involving, hard to put down, this first novel is excellent high fantasy.” Publishers Weekly

“By turns rousing, charming and slyly funny, Sabriel is an engaging tale that slays sexual stereotypes along with its monsters.” San Francisco Chronicle

“The action charges along at a gallop. A page turner for sure.” ALA Booklist

--This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By busylizzie on 30 Sep 2003
Format: Audio Cassette
Sabriel is the only daughter of the Mage Abhorsen. Her mother is dead and her father is busy about his work, so Sabriel spends all her time at Wyverley College, (for Young Ladies of Quality) in Ancelstierre, a country where there is electricity, guns, soldiers, and cars. Across the border in the Old Kingdom, there is Charter Magic and the more dangerous free magic. Between the two countries runs the Wall, with the Ancelstierre soldiery trying to keep out the denizens of the Old Kingdom.
Sabriel is bright, with good marks in Mathematics, English, and the Fighting Arts, but most importantly, she is first in Magic, a subject that can only be taught because the college is so close to the border. Her Father visits her twice a year, by sending an illusion of himself to the school. But this year he doesn’t come, and Sabriel is worried. When a Dead servant arrives carrying a sack holding Abhorsen's tools, then Sabriel knows that something is very wrong and that she must cross the Wall into the Old Kingdom to save him. More dangerously, she must cross into death to find him, for Abhorsen is a necromancer. His task is not to raise the dead, but to lay them to rest and thus protect the living.
Sabriel’s adventures across the Wall bring her love and a greater understanding of her father and her heritage, whilst they test her strength of character and her courage as she faces an ancient foe.
This book draws you into Sabriel’s world, with several clever ideas. Perhaps not ideal for nervous readers (who may have nightmares), this is a great piece of teenage fiction that can be enjoyed by adults and children alike. Although I don’t like to compare authors, this book has echoes of Ursula le Guin’s Earthsea series, with a dash of Philip Pullman, so if you like either of them, you’ll love this.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Ms. X. Waite on 20 May 2003
Format: Paperback
Sabriel is a teen read that is also entirely suitable for adults - in the same way that Phillip Pullman and J K Rowling are.
When Sabriel's father mysteriously disappears she has to leave her comfortable school existence behind her to travel into the Old Kingdom to find him. It is time for her to put her magical skills into practice and face terrifying dangers in an extraordinary world. Sabriel is a necromancer and as such she comes into contact with the dead.
I found Sabriel a little confusing to begin with as there was a lot to learn about in this new world that Garth Nix has created but as the story continues the plot gains momentum and charges along. It is a dark read which was quite scary in parts - especially if read alone at night!
I found that I loved this book it is dark, mystical and thrilling and I cannot wait for the next instalment - Lirael.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Bex on 28 Feb 2004
Format: Paperback
I work in a book shop and Sabriel grabbed my attention the second I saw it. However, I was a bit apprehensive as it was in the young adult section which also contains all the 'girly' books which, being 18 and hating them, aren't really my type. But I thought I'd give it a chance as there was quite a fuss about it.
I'm so glad I did! I just couldn't put this book down! Nix' book is definately in the fantasy genre (which i was delighted about) but it is also unique from any fantasy fiction I've read. Sometimes it's easy to get lost in a book like this but Nix has amazing talent at making you understand and vividly imagine all the ideas he presents. Much easier read than lord of the rings and much more compelling too.
But don't let me tell you how wonderful it is, go and read it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mrs J M Macfie on 30 May 2003
Format: Hardcover
Another reviewer mentions the embarrassment of being an 18-year old buyer in the childrens' section; as a fifty-something, I can only say, "don't worry about it". It's far too well kept a secret - most of the best writing around is in this section. Children won't settle for mediocrity because of the blurb on the dustjacket. If a book doesn't grab, it gets dropped. Anyway, the excitement of discovering an author of the calibre of Garth Nix or Lian Hearn outweighs any possible embarrassment; I find that kind of excitement in most childrens' books; it's sadly rare in the adult sections. I wonder whether children would give shelf room to Margaret Attwood? Must try her on mine...
One of the signs of a good book is that you want to read everything else the author has written, to recapture again that taste, that feeling. "Sabriel" is such a book. With the sort of impatient anticipation I felt before "The Subtle Knife" was published, I am waiting for the arrival of a copy of "Lirael" and then (oh, joy!) "Abhorsen".
Nix holds back on unnecessary detail leaving the reader free to imagine. It's a very confident book. "Sabriel"'s sub text is about growing up; a process that begins at birth and should only end at death.
So, read and enjoy; then why not try these :- Lian Hearn "Across the Nightingale Floor", Rita Murphy "Night Flying", Celia Rees "Witch Child". An embarrassment of riches.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By L. Hogan on 8 Aug 2006
Format: Paperback
All those cliches that are trotted out for so many books atcually apply to this one - original - yes! exciting - yes! unputdownable - yes! I wasnt quite sure where Mr Nix intended his audience to be when he wrote this book. Its difficult to classify a specific audience for it. In manys ways it is young adult but several of the themes definetly stray into more adult areas. Then again, the themes of loss and love are universal to so much fiction, that classifying any book would be useless. I first read Sabriel several years ago when it first came out in the UK and I have returned to it several times since, always finding something new and interesting. Its a book I would love to pass on to my children when they are old enough. Its slightly more grown up that the Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl books, less cartoonish. The characters seem more real. The dialogue is fantastic. Not once did I feel that a plot device came along to get Sabriel out of danger in the nick of time. Any help that came seems a logical progression of the story. Sabriel is a great book for all ages and all lovers of adventure fiction. Read it. You wont regret it!
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