Thoughts on Rereading the Abhorsen Trilogy

I recently decided to reread the Abhorsen trilogy by Garth Nix.

Even though it’s been fifteen years or so, I remember discovering Sabriel in the basement of my public library around seventh or eighth grade. I had this feeling of discovery, even though I found the book by chance, it felt special. The cover had a woman in a blue overcoat and silver keys and it ignited my imagination. I took the book home, read it, and bought a copy for myself because I loved it so much.

I still felt the special-ness of that memory as I took the book off the shelf. After reading Sabriel as an adult, the story still holds up for me. I found the problems of the Abhorsen (good necromancer) interesting and realistic. Nix does a great job of pacing and holding the tension. I finished Sabriel and then went on to read Lirael right away and I found that I still have a bit of a love-hate relationship because this story isn’t as straightforward as Sabriel’s. Sabriel is on a quest to save her father. Lirael’s story is more about finding herself and making her own place in the world, apart from having the Sight of the Clayr. But I finished it in a couple of days and went on to read Abhorsen, which is faster paced than Lirael, but still has some pacing problems compared to Sabriel.

Overall, I would recommend reading this series if you love YA and love fantasy. Sabriel is probably my favorite of the three, but that doesn’t seem surprising. I can still see the library in my mind when I think of discovering that book, so many good associations and memories. And a great story.


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