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Sabriel (The Old Kingdom Book 1) by [Nix, Garth]
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Sabriel (The Old Kingdom Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 295 customer reviews

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Amazon.co.uk 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

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


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 553 KB
  • Print Length: 323 pages
  • Publisher: Hot Key Books (5 Jun. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00KCJAV0I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 295 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,656 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Sabriel is the best book I have read in quite a while. I love finding new and exciting books, and love the feeling of having found an absolute gem that you know will do well! Sabriel is one of these books. It will have you gripped from start to finish...I was up until 5am finishing it! I found it in my local bookshop burried under some other books, and was immediately drawn to its simple but lavish frontcover.
Sabriel is an 18 year old girl, who is thrown into a life changing adventure head first, to rescue her father. Trapped between the gates of life and death, she must find her fathers spirit in the realm of death in order to bring life to his physical body. Sounds complecated? Well it isn't really, it's just hard to sum up 366 pages of magic into a few lines!
If you are like me and enjoy books such as The wind On Fire trilogy, Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings, you will enjoy this book. I always feel a bit stupid being an 18 year old searching through the childrens department, but you can't beat books written for the 'Young Adult'.
The book isn't one for younger children, as I feel they might get bogged down by the language and invented magical terminology. Perhaps the age group I would say the book is most enjoyable for is 13years to adult. There is certainly a reference to sex in the book, however mild it may, which maybe useful information to a potential parent wanting a book for their child. I would not let this put you off however, as it isn't crude in anyway.
Over all this book is one that I will be proud to put on my shelf as another one of my great finds in the world of books. Garth Nix gets the big thumbs up!
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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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By A Customer on 2 May 2004
Format: Paperback
First of all, an Abhorsen is someone who puts the dead back to rest, when a necromancer wakes them. It's in only one bloodline, so a heavy burden rests on the shoulders of every Abhorsen.
Sabriel is the Abhorsen-in-waiting, though she hardly knows it. When her father goes missing, and sends her a very powerful sword and the Abhorsen bells (with which an Abhorsen works to ring the dead back into death), Sabriel leaves her school and plunges into the world of danger that is the Old Kingdom.
Meeting Mogget, the sarcastic magical being bound to service to the Abhorsen, she finds a guide, and another danger. Together they rescue a man who then joins them. The trouble is, just about everything and everyone is more beneath the surface. The old Kingdom is like a nightmare world, people fleeing, dead sucking the life out of every living being, scavengers sacrificing children for riches, a world waiting to be rescued.
Can they find Sabriel's father in time to stop an evil that has haunted the Old Kingdom for 200 years, and is about to rise?
The book is seriously magnificent, full of new ideas and plot, adventure, and heart-stopping dangers.
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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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Format: Paperback
Garth Nix’s “Sabriel” is striking in many ways. Initially, it’s just the cover – ooh, isn’t it nice? And the book inside? Well, perhaps for once judging a book by its cover is not such a bad idea.
That Philip Pullman graces the cover of “Sabriel”, proclaiming it to be a fantasy that reads like realism, is telling. Reading “Sabriel” I was reminded time and again of Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy, which is widely acknowledged as a modern classic. Both take place in a fantasy world only slightly removed from our own, both centre around a young girl as she grows into a woman and discovers love, and both are absolutely, breathtakingly excellent.
Don’t be fooled into thinking this a children’s book. Again, like Pullman’s works, that may be what it says on the tin, but Nix doesn’t pull any punches in his presentation. There’s no patronising and talking down to children in his prose – several times I actually wondered if he’d even attempted to use simple word-choice. Because Nix refuses to sacrifice anything which will take away from his story – he tells it the way he wants to tell it, which is unquestionably a good thing for readers everywhere, even if they occasionally need to fumble for the dictionary.
“Sabriel” followes the eponymous heroine into the Old Kingdom, which is gradually falling apart after the breaking of many Charter Stones (magic that holds the Kingdom together), using the blood of the royal family.
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