reading list

The Abhorsen Trilogy


It’s been a while since I actually wrote the mini reviews and it’s all on me. I sometimes hesitate too much over writing even the normal reviews let alone the mini ones. I just feel I am not doing the books any justice and that I am not actually allowed to write it? Do you ever have that feeling?

Anyway, this time, after a long pause on those mini reviews, I present the mini reviews for the Abhorsen trilogy. It’s always fun to write up reviews to a series in one go because that’s far easier than thinking on them individually sometimes. So, here are the reviews of Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen!

Sabriel by Garth Nix

Title: Sabriel

Author: Garth Nix

Publisher: HarperCollins

Published Date: May 6th 2003

Length: 367 pages

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy

Rating: 3.5/5

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.

With Sabriel, the first installment in the Abhorsen series, Garth Nix exploded onto the fantasy scene as a rising star, in a novel that takes readers to a world where the line between the living and the dead isn’t always clear—and sometimes disappears altogether.


I will be honest, it took a while for me to get used to Nix’s writing and just the general world of this series. I even put it down for months and then picked it up and finally finished it with success.

I loved that the world building that I love so much in fantasy started happening as I read on in the book. When it’s done well, it’s really amazing to read and that’s what happened here too. Luckily. The idea that there’s a world very much like ours (Ancelstierre) bordered by a land that has spirits, magic and necromancers (the Old Kingdom) was something I just wasn’t expecting and it was a pleasant surprise. Also, the bells and gates of death were so well done too! I love the idea of having many gates in death and depending on which gate it is, you can be deeper into death.

I wasn’t completely sold on Sabriel but I have admit that I did end up really liking her. An eighteen year old who’s the daughter of the Aborsen, this incredibly important necromancer who’s gone missing, this girl manages to overcome her fears and her love for her father makes her go through some truly horrible. This book is not YA and I quickly came to understand that.

Overall, it was a great introduction to the world that Nix created and I loved his writing style and it’s just engaging enough that I knew I wanted to continue with the rest of the series.



Lirael by Garth Nix

Title: Lirael

Author: Garth Nix

Publisher: HarperCollins (Eos )

Published Date: May 6th 2003

Length: 464 pages

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy

Rating: 4.5/5

Lirael has never felt like a true daughter of the Clayr. Now, two years past the time when she should have received the Sight that is the Clayr’s birthright, she feels alone, abandoned, unsure of who she is. Nevertheless, the fate of the Old Kingdom lies in her hands. With only her faithful companion, the Disreputable Dog, Lirael must undertake a desperate mission under the growing shadow of an ancient evil.

In this sequel to Sabriel, winner of the Aurealis Award for Excellence in Australian Science Fiction, New York Times best-selling author Garth Nix weaves a spellbinding tale of discovery, destiny, and danger.


I started reading Lirael as soon as I could after finishing up Sabriel. Lirael brought with it, not Sabriel and Touchstone but a completely different set of characters. However we do see Sabriel and Touchstone a few times, there’s also Mogget too! Which is always fun.

Lirael does not mess around, it starts on quite a low note in Lirael’s life. There’s more evidence as to why this is not a completely YA book because it deals with depression and suicidal thoughts in a way that seem almost scary. However Lirael also has an optimistic and hopeful way of looking at life and when magical libraries and super magical dogs are involved, you can bet, Lirael wanted to see more of the world.

While we are witnessing Lirael’s journey, we also see Sam’s journey who has problems of his own and his parents and his relationship with his sister. There was more Ancelstierre and some of it, frankly was terrifyingly similar to the world situation right now and I was a bit creeped out. There were the same sentiments on refugees and there were so many topics dealt with in this book that perhaps a mini review wouldn’t do it a justice.

The magic system is still pretty cool and there were some truly awesome moments in the book. However the way it ended, I knew I had to read the last book in the trilogy as soon as I could. Overall, I loved it far more than Sabriel and it’s just a personal preference, the characters, the more world information really helped me make that decision.



Abhorsen by Garth Nix

Title: Abhorsen

Author: Garth Nix

Publisher: HarperCollins

Published Date:  January 7th 2003

Length: 518 pages

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy

Rating: 4/5

The Ninth was strong and fought with might
But lone Orannis was put out of the light
Broken in two and buried under hill
Forever to lie there, wishing us ill.

So says the song. But Orannis, the Destroyer, is no longer buried under hill. It has been freed from its subterranean prison and now seeks to escape the silver hemispheres, the final barrier to the unleashing of its terrible powers.

Only Lirael, newly come into her inheritance as the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, has any chance of stopping the Destroyer. She and her companions — Sam, the Disreputable Dog, and Mogget — have to take that chance. For the Destroyer is the enemy of all Life, and it must be stopped, though Lirael does not know how.

To make matters worse, Sam’s best friend, Nick, is helping the Destroyer, as are the necromancer Hedge and the Greater Dead Chlorr, and there has been no word from the Abhorsen Sabriel or King Touchstone.

Everything depends upon Lirael. A heavy, perhaps even impossible burden for a young woman who just days ago was merely a Second Assistant Librarian. With only a vision from the Clayr to guide her, and the rather mixed help of her companions, Lirael must search in both Life and Death for some means to defeat the Destroyer.

Before it is too late. . . . 


And then we are here! Boy, once Lirael ended, I really badly wanted to just start on this one immediately but my moody mind wouldn’t let me. Once again, I started and then put it down again. Oh, well. The important thing is, I picked it up again.

Let me just say that this series just kept getting better as each installment in the series came to life. This one was just so freaking awesome! It had action, it had great writing and the plot got better, somehow. The plot twists though! I loved them all!

In this one, the thing that everyone had been dreading for so long, it happens and it’s all chaos and the fear of all dead all the time. Yeah, it’s not fun when the necromancers are kinda finding it hard to keep death/the dead at bay. Not good. Especially, when ‘the thing’ also is trying to bring about the end of a magical system in place for centuries. So, yeah.

This one was absolutely the best ending I could have expected for the series and the magic system just made me fall in love even more. Let’s just say that I will definitely be recommending it to anyone who ever wants to read something different in fantasy. Also, I want to read more of this world. So expect some more books in book hauls from this author this year.


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