Who will guard the living when the dead arise?
Sabriel has spent most of her young life worrying about homework and hanging out with her friends. That is until one night, when a shadow form comes to her and informs her that her father is dead. But Abhorsen is a binder of the dead, he can’t really be dead himself, can he? Determined to find him and bring him back, Sabriel sets out on a journey to the Old Kingdom, where her magic will flourish and the dead will arise.
It’s fair to say I’m rather late to the Old Kingdom series, this book having been published twenty years ago, and I have actually owned a copy of Sabriel for about a decade and a half, so I’m really glad I finally got around to reading it.
Honestly though I was slightly disappointed; the story itself was really interesting and a clever idea, but I did find the writing slightly on the younger side. Perhaps if I had read this when I first bought it I would’ve enjoyed it more, but as it was I just felt slightly detached from it throughout.
My biggest issue with it was that I felt as if the biggest moments in the story rather fell flat, particular the climax of the book, which seemed to take a while to come only for it to be over in a flash, without any real sense of menace.
There were however parts to it I really liked; the majority of the scenes involving the Dead were really quite eerie and creepy, but I definitely found them to be more disturbing than the creatures that were meant to be more powerful than them, which I’m sure is not the way it’s meant to be.
I will probably go on to read the next books in the trilogy, especially as I have heard some great things about this series as whole, but for my first foray into the Old Kingdom trilogy I was rather underwhelmed.
3.5 / 5