87 of 92 people found the following review helpful
A thoroughly enjoyable ending to Lirael,
This review is from: Abhorsen (Hardcover)
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.
In the end Nix skilfully places his characters in reach of further books, tidying up most of the important questions, whilst leaving just enough unanswered so the reader is left with a satisfying sense of completion but not closure.