Author: Garth Nix
Series: Old Kingdom (Book One)
Who’s it for? Teens
What’s it about? Sabriel has always lived far away from the Wall that separates them from the Old Kingdom – a wild and dangerous place where the Free Magic can be accessed by Charter Mages with greater ease. Her father is the Abhorsen, a powerful man capable of undoing the wrongs wrought by Necromancers, and sending the Dead back into death. He trains Sabriel in the ways of the Abhorsen, but she never truly felt like she would have to use that knowledge.
Until her father goes missing. Leaving all safety behind Sabriel heads for the Old Kingdom to find him, little knowing what evil awaits her…
What’s good about it? So, so much. There’s pretty much nothing I don’t love about this. The world building is rich and utterly gorgeous – it feels so real that the real world just fades away whilst you’re reading. I find all the information on the Charter – what it is and what it involves – to be so interesting, and seriously cool.
Sabriel is brilliant. She’s brave and capable – not without flaws, she is only human after all – and uses her own knowledge and strength to save herself. Alright, she isn’t without help, but she’s not a damsel-in-distress.
None of the characters feel like shallow caricatures. Sometimes secondary and background characters can often be neglected in the face of the protagonists journey but that’s not the case here. They’re beautifully done.
What’s bad about it? It does take a couple of pages to really get going. But other than that: nothing.
The verdict? This is a much older story than others I’ve reviewed for this challenge, but it’s one I was hoping to introduce to more people. It’s an awesome fantasy story with fantastic characters and a world you can really immerse yourself in. A magical read that I highly recommend!