Dori & Jess’ Book Club Reviews Sabriel

After a hiatus due to busy schedules and busy libraries, Dori & Jess’ Book Club is back with…

SabrielSabriel by Garth Nix

The first installment of Garth Nix’s Abhorsen trilogy is filled with magic, necromancy and mysterious dark foes. Dori and I both appreciated the rich universe that came to life with Mr. Nix’s cinematic writing. I particularly liked the system of magic. Necromancy, for instance, is performed using a set of bells which each have their own characteristic sound that brings about a particular magic effect. For example, Ranna, the sleepbringer bell, is described as having a sweet, low sound while Saraneth, the binder that shackles the dead to the ringer’s will, is described as having the sound of strength. While we both felt the world was beautifully laid out, we also wished there was more character development. Sabriel, the protagonist, felt one-dimensional and, while she may be fleshed out further over the course of the other two books, she does not have much depth in this segment of the series. Dori said, “this is often the issue with books that are all plot and adventure. There’s no downtime to be introspective.” And “Sabriel,” does have an abundance of plot and adventure to the slight detriment of the characters. For example, due to the lack to emotional depth in Sabriel and her companion, Touchstone, the budding love story between the two felt a little forced. However, this is a nitpicky failing and does not stop me from recommending this satisfying fantasy novel.

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