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Words of Hannah Kay

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Book Review: Garth Nix - Sabriel

Image credit at the bottom of the post

Sabriel is the first installment of Garth Nix's The Old Kingdom young adult fantasy series. The following novels include: Lirael, Abhorsen, Clariel, Goldenhand.

The protagonist Sabriel learns that her father, Abhorsen, has died. However, she and her father are able to venture into death to retrieve souls to bring them back to the world of the living. Sabriel follows her in an epic adventure in her quest to save her father.


Book 01 of 'The Old Kingdom' series
Genre: Fantasy fiction
Began reading: June 03rd 2019
Finished reading: June 20th 2019


I gave this book a:

3 out of 5 stars!

My Review:
This book (and The Old Kingdom series) has been sitting patiently in my to be read list for a long while now. I finally decided to give this series a go.

My first impressions of this book was 'meh'. Prior to this reading, I had attempted started this book a many years ago however, I simply could not just get into it.

Now that I am older, I overcame that initial confusion that I had as a young child and managed start the series properly.

One thing I noticed as I read this book was that the more I read, the more I liked it. I think this was because I gradually got to know more about the world and more about the characters. Sabriel, the heroine and protagonist of this novel, went from a college student to saviour of the land.

Another thing that I really liked about this book was that her love interest wasn't introduced at the beginning at the novel. We got to see Sabriel's character arc develop before she is introduced to Touchstone.

However, one thing I will say is that, I feel like the descriptions of the characters were a bit vague. I don't know if this is just me but the descriptions didn't really paint a picture of the characters in my head. The world descriptions did though! But that perhaps may be because the setting of the Old Kingdom was a big contributer to the plot. This made the descriptions of environment even more important, to ensure that the reader understands everything clearly.

Overall, I felt as if this book could have been longer! I want more description; more interaction between the characters and description of them. The plot was amazing; I really liked it!

Will I be picking up the book 02 Lirael?
Yes - although I don't know when yet. My TBR list is too long at the moment!

Would I recommend Sabriel to someone else?
It depends. Fantasy genre novels are normally quite long. For fans of Sarah J. Maas, Sabriel is roughly 1/3 of Kingdom of Ash (my copy of this is 984 pages long!)


Image credit goes to Sebastian Ciaffaglione!


Have you read Sabriel yet? Or perhaps you've read other books by Garth Nix? Let me know what you think of them in the comments!

Thank you for reading!

Stay awesome,
Hannah x


  1. Omg! This book has been in my TBR list for LITERALLY ages now. I think it's about time I read it :)

    1. If your reading preference is anything like mine, you'll enjoy it! I would love to hear your thoughts on it once you're finished :)


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About Hannah

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Hi, I'm Hannah. This is my blog.

Adventuring into fictional universes is always something that I have thoroughly enjoyed. Now, as an aspiring author, I get to create them too.