by Garth Nix
|Format:||Paperback 368 pages|
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Who will guard the living when the dead arise? Sabriel is sent as a child across the Wall to the safety of a school in Ancelstierre. Away from magic; away from the Dead. After receiving a cryptic message from her father, 18-year-old Sabriel leaves her ordinary school and returns across the Wall into the Old Kingdom. Fraught with peril and deadly trickery, her journey takes her to a world filled with parasitical spirits, Mordicants, and Shadow Hands - for her father is none other than The Abhorson. His task is to lay the disturbed dead back to rest. This obliges him - and now Sabriel, who has taken on her father's title and duties - to slip over the border into the icy river of Death, sometimes battling the evil forces that lurk there, waiting for an opportunity to escape into the realm of the living. Desperate to find her father, and grimly determined to help save the Old Kingdom from destruction by the horrible forces of the evil undead, Sabriel endures almost impossible challenges whilst discovering her own supernatural abilities - and her destiny.
HarperCollins Children's Books
Publisher and industry reviews
"Sabriel is a winner, a fantasy that reads like realism. I congratulate Garth Nix." Philip Pullman "Fast pace, drama, vivid descriptions, excitement and humour! What more could you want?" The Guardian "Every publisher thinks they have the next great children's fantasy writer. Harper Collins know they have." Nick Holt, AML "Pacy, gripping and totally absorbing!I loved it." Wayne Winstone, Children's and Non-book Director, Ottakars "An unputdownable book, completely fabulous." Claire Nuttall, Children's Fiction Buyer, W H Smith "This 'good versus evil' tale is raised above the rest of the fantasy genre by the quality of Garth Nix's imagination and the beauty of his writing!destined to become a classic." Helen Davies, Books Etc "Captured the mood of fantasy with such realism that I was enthralled from beginning to end, a really cracking story!" Diane Sinclair, Sales Promotions Manager, Askew's Library Services
UK Kirkus review
The traditional opening of a fantasy novel contains a generous dollop of explanation for the puzzled reader after the initial prologue. This one's different, going straight for the mystic jugular and sticking there relentlessly. It tells the tale of a schoolgirl endowed with magic powers, 'the mark of the Charter', who runs away in search of her missing and magical father. She lives in a traditional girls' boarding school, but enters into an alternative world once she leaves, one peopled with nasty wraiths and resembling the kingdom of Philip Pullman's fantastic trilogy more than a little. As is also customary, the narrative thread deals with the struggle between good and evil, as her youthful escapade evolves into a fight to overcome the wickedness of the Dead. After a couple of nasty adventures Sabriel finds her father's empty house, where she befriends a magical cat who leads her further on her quest. This journey, into the Old Kingdom, is the most successful part of the novel - the landscape is properly fantastic and an accomplished feat of narrative imagination. Gradually, and with the enlisted help of a sulky adolescent male called Touchstone, she finally defeats the powers of Darkness, just as we knew she would all along. Efficient fantasy, but hardly ground-breaking material. (Kirkus UK)
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, and lots of books. Sabriel is his first book for young adults.
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