Sabriel series by Garth Nix
Sabriel is the first title in a trilogy about a land divided by a wall between Ancelstierre and the land known as The Old Kingdom. This first title centers on Sabriel, a girl about to graduate from her boarding school in Ancelstierre. Sabriel goes on a quest to find Abhorsen, her father, in the Old Kingdom, where magic still rules. Starting at her father’s house with an unusual cat-spirit who served her father, she travels through the Old Kingdom with a young man she has awakened from death. Sabriel learns that she has inherited the role of Abhorsen and must carry on the battle against evil spirits who refuse to stay dead. Garth Nix has created a world with engaging characters in which all the pieces fit together. I admire authors like Nix whose world-building skills are so well-developed that everything makes sense, even in a world that doesn’t exist in reality. I recommend these titles to readers who are always looking for more fantasy, especially with strong female characters.
This sequel to Sabriel tells the story of Lirael, a daughter of the Clayr, who has always felt alone and out of place. At the age of 14 she has still not received the Sight, several years older than more Clayr receive it. Assigned to work in the library, she enjoys her work and even begins exploring out of bounds areas. By accident she awakens an evil spirit and must rebind it. In her exploration she finds a path laid out for her years before. As she follows the path she encounters others who join her on her journey. They encounter dead creatures and learn much about their destinies as the adventure continues. This book is loaded with excitement and suspense; I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next!
In this last installment of the trilogy about Abhorsen, Old Kingdom and magic, Lirael works as part of a team with Sameth and others to defeat the evil necromancer Hedge. Lirael’s companion Disreputable Dog proves valuable in the fight, as they work also to save Sameth’s friend Nick from Hedge. While these characters and names may sound both confusing or intimidating, the plot is so well written that the reader becomes engulfed in the story, as everything in this world makes sense in context. Nix has created an intricate universe, peopled by engaging characters about whom the reader really cares!
I recommend checking out all three books at once if they’re available. Students will be eager to know what happens next at the end of each book!
Reviews by Ms. Goldstein-Erickson