Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sabriel by Garth Nix

"Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him. She soon finds companions in Mogget, a cat whose aloof manner barely conceals its malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage long imprisoned by magic, now free in body but still trapped by painful memories. As the three travel deep into the Old Kingdom, threats mount on all sides. And every step brings them closer to a battle that will pit them against the true forces of life and death—and bring Sabriel face-to-face with her own destiny."

I really wasn't sure what to expect with this one--it wasn't at first sight the most exciting or appealing book. I figured it had a fifty-fifty chance. It managed to pull through for me, though, gaining my approval. I'm not gonna do backflips for it, but I have to say that it's a very well-written book. The world, its settings and history and characters, was extraordinarily fleshed-out and accessible; I could easily picture the environment, feel what the characters were going through, and get a sense of everything very clearly. The writing was done in the best way to do that; it wasn't overly remarkable when you concentrated on it but it did wonders for fluidly and directly setting the scene. I enjoyed Sabriel, the main character, and the author's penchant for doing things straight--there was no back-and-forth dithering with the plot or the characters. To add to that, any potential romantic interests there are aren't stretched painfully long. There's the believable beginning stages and denial, and the kinda cute falling-for-each-other, but they don't dance around each other for annoyingly long periods of time. I liked that. Overall, the book was undoubtedly done well and enjoyable--no real complaints here. There're copies at Sitka High, Kettleson, and Mt. Edgecumbe.

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