A large wall separates the Old Kingdom from Ancelstierre. But it’s more than just a geographical separation: there is magic in the Olde Kingdom, Ancelstierre on the other hand relies on technology. Sabriel is from the Old Kingdom but goes to school just south of the wall in Ancelstierre because her father wanted to make sure she was safe. In the Old Kingdom she wouldn’t have been since her father is the Abhorsen: a necromancer charged with making sure that the dead stay dead. But then the Abhorsen goes missing and it is down to Sabriel to find him before the dead overrun both countries.
I had been meaning to re-read the entire series for a while, but when it was announced that a prequel was about to be published, I had to re-read it immediately. Sometimes I just make really good decisions because Sabriel is still as awesome as I remember it to be.
I read Sabriel for the first time when I was about 17 or so and I remember staying up all night to finish it, bawling my eyes out as I did. I was also madly in love with Touchstone. Re-reading it over ten years later didn’t have quite the same intensity, but I still loved every single second of it.
The book is full of great characters. Sabriel is full of strength and warmth but also faults. She tries so very hard to do the right thing – and she mostly succeeds, even when it costs her quite a lot. At the same time she can get so excited and enthusiastic about things and isn’t all about responsibility. It was great to see. Touchstone is a great match for her, even though I thought that the romance did come a little fast – I would have liked a little more seguing into it, especially because I felt that we didn’t actually get to spend that much time with Touchstone or get to know him very well before it’s all done. And there is nothing I didn’t love about Mogget.
Nix creates a fascinating, layered and complex world into which he sets an engaging plot (that wonderfully enough has the heroine save the prince, and the daughter on a mission to save her father). His story is well-paced and generally well-written and gave me goosebumps more than once. And even if I didn’t cry my eyes out completely, there were tears.
Summarizing: I can find practically no fault in the book and I urge you all to read it.