Thursday, February 16, 2012
by Garth Nix
New York : PerfectBound, 2001.
Sabriel, the Abhorsen's daughter, has been living across the wall from her home country in the Old Kingdom, living in a boarding school in Ancelstierre. But when her father fails to show up for their monthly meeting, she knows something is dreadfully wrong, and she returns home to find him.
This is the first book in a trilogy that I first read when I was about sixteen or so. I hadn't read much fantasy beyond C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien at that point, and I remember the sort of mixed feeling of enjoyment and dread of reading a fantasy story - and one that talked about necromancy (though the real necromancers are bad...). I was curious to see how the book would change in a reread, after many more years of my reading the genre. It didn't have that same sort of forbidden pleasure, and now I can say that it has some of the tropes of the genre (Touchstone's identity, for example, was extremely easy to figure out). But as one of the first representative works of the genre in my mental library, even its familiarity was fun. I'd forgotten much of the details in the decade plus since I'd read it, and enjoyed it all over again as I re-met Sabriel, the Abhorsen, and Mogget. All in all, it was definitely worth revisiting.