(Abhorsen #1)
by Garth Nix
performed by Tim Curry
Published 2008 by Listening Library
10 hours, 28 minutes. Unabridged.
Rating: 5/5

After receiving a cryptic message from her father, Abhorsen, a necromancer trapped in Death, 18-year-old Sabriel sets off into the Old Kingdom. Fraught with peril and deadly trickery, her journey takes her to a world filled with parasitical spirits, Mordicants, and Shadow Hands. Unlike other necromancers, who raise the dead, Abhorsen lays the disturbed dead back to rest. This obliges him–and now Sabriel, who has taken on her father’s title and duties–to slip over the border into the icy river of Death, sometimes battling the evil forces that lurk there, waiting for an opportunity to escape into the realm of the living. Desperate to find her father, and grimly determined to help save the Old Kingdom from destruction by the horrible forces of the evil undead, Sabriel endures almost impossible exhaustion, violent confrontations, and terrifying challenges to her supernatural abilities–and her destiny.

I am totally amazed by how much I loved this book. It has everything I look for in a fantasy book: interesting characters, fast-paced plot, and terrific writing. I need to get to library and pick up the next book immediately. I can’t wait to read what comes next in this trilogy. This is one of those books I know I could read again and again.

Though Sabriel has trouble with her role as the Abhorsen, she still manages to be a very strong female character. She has her screw ups and is saved from death quite a few times by the other characters in the book, but I still loved her and believed in her. She still seems to find ways to make it through the dangerous task of traveling through the old kingdom. It’s what is waiting for her at the end of the journey that really puts her in danger. I also loved her relationship with Touchstone. It’s very subtle, which I think is appropriate for this story.

What a plot! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I couldn’t wait to figure out what would happen next. There was plenty of action. Every time it seemed she was out of harms way something even more dangerous would pop up to keep the story interesting. The climax was absolutely perfect. I was so satisfied with it. The conclusion was great too. I tend to like faster conclusions. Otherwise, it feels like the author is scrambling to patch up everything in the end. This one was perfect for me: precise and to the point.

Tim Curry is an English actor, singer, and voice actor. He can be seen in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Annie, Legend, and Clue. He’s been in numerous Broadway productions. He’s also done a lot of voice acting for cartoon movies and television, and for audiobooks. I was very excited when I saw that he was the narrator for this one. He did such a terrific job, but that’s a given because he’s Tim Curry.

Source: Homewood Public Library. Homewood, AL.
Author’s website:
Purchase this book: Book Depository | IndieBound | Audible

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  1. Awesome book. I can't imagine spending 10 hours listening to it, though! Guess I'm not really a fan of audiobooks… :)I was really looking forward to the next two books in the series, but despite the fact that I loved Sabriel, I just couldn't get into the second book (and I tried!). I'll be interested to see what you think of Lirael and Abhorsen.

  2. Same here. I loved Sabriel but faltered on Lirael. But, my daughter loved all 3 books! She read the ending of Abhorsen out loud and it was pretty good. Maybe I should revisit this series this year.Tim Curry has a great voice! I can't remember which of his audio performances I've had the pleasure of hearing. 😦

  3. Looks like this one might be a great selection for me to venture into the sci fi world. Thanks for linking your review.


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