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4.8 out of 5 stars
136
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 14 June 2005
Some people have judged Garth Nix's work for being derivitive. *Nonsense*! Anybody who has read this trilogy has heard a highly original creative voice, and a fantastic attempt to take us into the world of the Old Kingdom.
The strength of this book like the others is its inspired characterisation; I love Lirael's struggle to accept who she is, her grit and guts and resourcefulness, and the sardonic Moggett is one of the best characters in any story *ever.*
The fantasy element is very organic and well thought out; I love the idea of being 'taken into the swirl of the ever-lasting charter' and of being connected to every living thing - great stuff; not to mention the depiction of 'Death' which is quite chilling, but intriguing. I also love the final explanation about the Abhorsen's bells and who they embody. Lots of these tensions and mysteries are resolved in this final instalment.
Well-done Garth Nix you are a phenomenal author!
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on 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. The fact that the 'old kingdom' series is a trilogy that has a great 1st book, 2nd book and 3rd book makes it so outstanding, because no book in the series is very disappointing or boring. That is why this series is such a huge hit on the best seller list (look at the amazon.co.uk science ficiton section and fantasy, young adult section, childrens books section and you will see that Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen never is out of the top 25).
The best thing about this book is that some parts (the prologue: at least until you find out the truth, and the ending) are so sad and touching that it could make you cry.
This is written in a very gripping and sad way, though not in a very heavy and blunt pessimist way.
This is a great end to a series that doesn't seem entirely finished yet: What happens to Lirael and Sam? What happens to Mogget? What does the Disriputable dog do in death? What does Sabriel do? What does.........What does..........
The only way to find about these is to wait.
A must buy for people who have read Sabriel and Lirael. For people who haven't buy all three and enjoy!
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on 25 April 2004
Before elaborating on Abhorsen, you have to read Lirael first to fullyunderstand the plot, as the two books share the same characters andstoryline, unlike the original Sabriel, which is a novel that is on itsown.
This is a fantastic book, incredibly satisfying, and by the end, Ihad a feeling of great contentment. Garth Nix is superb with his creationof the Old Kingdom and Charter Magic, and he uses the ideas to greateffect. The identities of the Disreputable Dog and the elusive Mogget arerevealed, and the terrible force that threatens to destroy the world isunmasked.
The plot: Lirael, the Abhorsen-in-Waiting (the currentAbhorsen is Sabriel; Abhorsens keep the Dead dead, so to stop themdestroying Life itself) and Prince Sameth embark on a quest to saveSameth's friend, Nick, who is ignorantly bringing about the end of theworld. They are helped by the Disreputable Dog and Mogget, two elusivecharacters who are as mysterious as ever (Mogget is great - I love hissarcasm). Other characters include Hedge, the necromancer (enemies of theAbhorsen who raise the Dead and use them for their own purposes}who isstrangely helping Nick, and there is Sabriel and Touchstone, the Abhorsen,who is also Queen of the Old Kingdom, and the King of the Old Kingdom,whose lives hang in the balance after the explosive beginning.
This isan excellent read, very entertaining and interesting. Even though it isthe last book in this trilogy, I hope that Garth Nix will write more booksof this kind - he is a true master of storytelling.
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on 4 May 2007
No words can really do justice to 'Abhorsen', the concluding book of the Old Kingdom trilogy (so far anyway!). I think Garth Nix's Old Kingdom books are better than Pullman and at least on a par with Philip Reeve's 'Mortal Engines' quartet. The scale, richness and depth of Nix's imagination and the superb quality of his prose is quite unbelievable. I didn't want this book to end. It's unbearably tense at times, as well as having a beautiful, desperately sad final few pages. I finished it last night in bed and then couldn't get to sleep as the story stayed with me after I turned the light out. It really is an extraordinary achievement. I just hope that Garth Nix decides to revisit some of the characters at a later date!!!!

Wow!!!!!! Utterly brilliant stuff!

*Read 'Sabriel' and 'Lirael' first or you wont have a clue what's going on.*
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on 2 April 2004
Excellent third book from Garth Nix to complete this series! After discovering Sabriel some years ago, buried in the back of a dust bookstore, I was completly hooked. Lirael was a good second book; which didn't disappoint, unlike a lot of second in the series books. Abhorsen finishes off neatly but leaving the option open for further books. I'm sort of hoping that Garth will write further books in this series...please?
Anyway Abhorsen is a quick read and probably suitable from young teens up to adults.
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on 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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on 12 April 2007
As with "Sabriel" and "Lirael" before it, I just couldn't put this book down. It's every bit as brilliant as the others and leaves you wishing for more when you get to the end.

"Abhorsen" follows on immediately from "Lirael", continuing Lirael's story as she realises she has left her old life with The Seeing Clayr behind her for good, and must try to fulfil her destiny if an ancient dark force, stronger than life and creation, is to be prevented from wreaking total destruction in both the Old Kingdom and the more modern world of Ancelstierre. Can Lirael, Sam, the Disreputable Dog and the strange magical cat-thing Mogget do enough to stop this dark force.... Can they reach Sam's old school friend Nicholas Sayre who seems to be bound into helping one of the most powerful Greater Dead, Hedge.... bound to helping him bring to life this dark and all-powerful destructive force of evil?

With amazing, and imaginative writing, Garth Nix brings all of his characters to life with ease, making this an unstoppable read!
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on 6 November 2003
"Abhorsen" hits the ground running, leaping into action directly after the events of "Lirael". From the explosive opening chapter to the heart-stopping finale, Nix shows he is no mood to let up on the pace and drama of the previous two books. This is a work of genius, with adventure and danger guaranteed to get the hardest heart pumping; and yes, we finally see all the way to the ninth gate. Any loose ends from the previous books are tidily resolved, and Nix answers all the questions he's made you ask along the way...of course, he leaves a couple of new ones as well!
Keep your eye out for this man...this trilogy might be finished, but there are more stories to tell yet.
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on 26 August 2006
This is the best book in the trilogy - far more happens in it than in Lirael, and the central plot is better than that of Sabriel.

In this final book, Lirael and Sam are on a quest to stop a necromancer who is digging up an ancient evil thing - Orannis, the destroyer, who likes to destroy things. Helped again by Mogget and the Disreputable Dog, they first have to get to the Red lake, where the catastrophe is taking place, and then find some way to stop Hedge ( the necromancer). Nick, a friend of Sam's, is with Hedge by accident, and so we hear part of the story from his point of view as well.

The sense of doom and destiny is overwhelming in this book, and the way that everything fits together at the end makes it a very satistfying book.

Read it, or regret not reading it for the rest of your life
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on 1 May 2004
Abhorsen is exciting, thrilling, well-paced and all-round an excellent book for both adults and older children (around aged 13+). I would definitely suggest reading Sabriel and Lirael beforehand, though, as a lot of the basic concepts of Nix's world are established in these books. Abhorsen is only very loosely related to Sabriel but is more of a continuation of Lirael - which seems rather strange seeing as how Sabriel was set many years before.
I'm not complaining though - Garth Nix certainly didn't lose my attention at any point in any of the books. They are all beautifully written with just the right amount of time between new discoveries and revelations in the plotline - just enough is revealed to keep your attention but not enough is given away to make the ending predictable - which it certainly isn't.
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