This will be the first of a couple of posts about the books by Garth Nix that are on my bookshelf. I have several of his books, but they are such different series that I feel each series deserves a post unto itself.
A friend of mine is currently rereading the Abhorsen Trilogy, and that sparked the idea in my mind that I hadn’t talked about this series yet. It’s a good one, if you like kind of out there science fiction and fantasy, which Garth Nix is pretty famous for. I happen to like that genre, so I definitely like these books.
The main novels – Sabriel, Lireal and Abhorsen - focus on a hereditary bloodline who have the ability to be the Abhorsen. The Abhorsens can control the dead and are charged with making sure the dead stay dead, fixing what other necromancers wreck, basically. (If you want to learn a whole lot about this series, check out the Wikipedia page. It’s a surprisingly detailed entry that tells you all about the books and the world they’re set in.)
Sabriel is the story of the girl named Sabriel, whose father is the Abhorsen but who goes missing while she is away at school. She must go back to the Old Kingdom to try and rescue him. She finds help from a man named Touchstone, who is actually a Prince of the Old Kingdom. One of the best lines from this book is “Does the Walker choose the Path, or the Path the Walker?”
Lirael is about Sabriel’s half-sister (though you don’t find that out right away) and Sameth, who is Sabriel and Touchstone’s son. Sameth is supposed to succeed his mother as Abhorsen. Lirael lived most of her life with the Clayr, seers of the future, but she always felt like an outcast. Then she meets up with Sameth and starts on a journey to save the world.
Abhorsen is the third in the trilogy. This follows the story of Lirael and Sameth, Sabriel and Touchstone as they try to stop the Destroyer from being unearthed and keep the world from being … well, destroyed.
There’s another book in this series that I have on my shelf, as well: Across the Wall: A tale of the Abhorsen and other stories. I just found it in a bookstore last year. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s on my list.
If you like novels that completely take you out of this world and into something nearly unrecognizable, but still amazing, you will enjoy Garth Nix’s books. I read them in high school, and would recommend them for anyone who enjoys science fiction and fantasy novels. Nix has a slightly different writing style, but his world is completely formed in your head at the end of the first book.
Next week I’ll talk about another young adult series by Nix, the Keys to the Kingdom.