Retro Friday reviews are hosted by Angieville. Basically you review an older title on Fridays.
I am a fan of cool magic systems, the after life and it’s various incarnations, and zombie-esque creatures. I am also a fan of fantasy, especially YA fantasy. Unfortunately my background was sorely lacking because I never picked up Sabriel by Garth Nix as a teen despite it’s numerous awards. Straight up, that makes me a stupid ass, because contained within Sabriel are multitudes of awesome.
Okay, so we begin with a mysterious prologue and a baby and death and all italics. Then we get to the crux of the story. Sabriel’s dad, Abhorsen, has disappeared. Well, he’s in death which consists of gates which are like levels which you should just trust me on this and go read the book. So, Sabriel inherits his sword and bandolier which holds named bells that necromancers use which have certain powers over the dead. Right, so Sabriel previously is in a normal part of the world, modern and all, called Ancelstierre at a bording school. All the crazy magic and stuff happens in a place called the Old Kingdom which is separated from Ancelstierre by a magical wall formed by Charter Magic. Anyways, Sabriel leaves Ancelstierre to go on a journey to find dear old dad and put things to rights in Old Kingdom.
However, she doesn’t go it alone. There’s Mogget, the free magic spirit in the form of a cat who is awesome like Grimalkin. Actually, probably more awesome to be honest because Mogget becomes seven different kinds of badass at certain secret points. Also Touchstone! Touchstone is a male of undetermined but appropriate age who doesn’t remember his past. But holy moly slow burnz, Mr. Touchstone. The sizzle, y’all the sizzle.
Straight up, the world building and the magic system were believable and well developed. Sabriel had weaknesses and wasn’t full of weird deus ex machina powers.Â She had limits. And guys, I love the idea of bells and their rings being magical and powerful.
PLUS the characters do not suck. I wasn’t like good lord kill this pile of suck off because they are literally too dumb to live. Which brings me to the point that Sabriel actually has brains AND uses them. It’s more than just the author saying she is smart and turning around and having her do dumb things. Instead, Sabriel does intelligent things and fights the dead and ahhhh.
Literally, my reaction AHHHH.
Basically, Sabriel by Garth Nix kicks ass, has a sweet magic system, rocking characters, a taste of romance and zombies. In all, it is awesome and I recommend it with all my heart.
Disclosure: Purchased copy.
Read as part of my Fill In The Gaps project.