Winner 1995 Aurealis Awards for Excellence in Australian Speculative Fiction - Best Young Adult Novel and Best Fantasy NovelAn American Library Association (ALA )Best Book for Young Adults, 1996 list.A UK award: W.H.Smith 'People's Choice' Bo
Garth Nix has worked as a literary agent, marketing consultant, book editor, book publicist, book sales representative, bookseller, and as a part-time soldier in the Australian Army Reserve. Garth' s books include the award-winning fantasy novels Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen; and the cult favourite YA SF novel Shad' s Children. His fantasy novels for children include The Ragwitch, the six books of The Seventh Tower sequence, and The Keys to the Kingdom series. More than five million copies of his books have been sold around the world; his books have appeared on the bestseller lists of The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, The Guardian and The Australian; and his work has been translated into 37 languages. He lives in a Sydney beach suburb with his wife and two children.
Gr 6 Up‘This vividly imagined fantasy pits a young necromancer against a shambling horde of deliciously gruesome minions of an unspeakably evil sorcerer. Raised in peaceful Ancelstierre, where magic is weak and technology has reached the level of automobiles and flying machines, teenaged Sabriel suddenly receives evidence that her wandering father is no longer in the Land of the Living. She sets out to find him, though it means crossing over into the Old Kingdom, where time and the very stars are different, and then past the Gates of Death. Sabriel is no stranger to these dangerous domains, but she quickly learns that the physical and magical walls erected to keep the living and dead separate are nearly broken down. With the help of a depressed, half-blood prince who has spent the last two centuries as a wooden statue and a seeming cat who is actually a powerful magical creature, the young woman evades a thicket of traps and hazards to rescue her father‘only to lose him permanently in the opening rounds of a vicious, wild climax. Nix fills in the background with inventively developed details. Though he doesn't handle every element with equal skill, his monsters are scary and repulsive, his sense of humor is downright sneaky, and he puts his competent but not superhuman heroine through engrossing physical and emotional wringers. This book is guaranteed to keep readers up way past their bedtimes.‘John Peters, New York Public Library
'Weaving horror and fantasy into a rich, original story, Nix creates complex and fascinating lores, rituals and tools of necromancy ... a powerful, gripping quest story.' THE AGE'Sabrielis a winner, a fantasy that reads like realism. Here is a world with the same solidity and four-dimensional authority as our own, created with invention, clarity and intelligence. I congratulate Garth Nix. And I look forward to reading his next piece of work.' PHILIP PULLMAN
Sabriel is her last year at Wyverley College, a private school in Ancelstierre, where Magic does not work, but near the Border with the Old Kingdom, where it does. She and her father are also highly skilled necromancers, who fight the dead who seek to return to Life. But when her father is somehow trapped in Death, she must journey into the Old Kingdom to find him. She does not know that it is wracked by struggle (like that in Ursula LeGuin's The Farthest Shore)-a magician has brought chaos by refusing to die and hopes to use Sabriel and her father to further consolidate his power. Sabriel goes on a long journey throughout a densely imagined world, learning as she goes, and meeting such strange characters as Mogget, a raging natural force contained in the shape of a cat. She also develops a relationship with Touchstone, a young man who turns out to be as crucially involved as she is. Although Sabriel is possessed of much heavy knowledge ("A year ago, I turned the final page of The Book of the Dead. I don't feel young any more"), she is still a teenager and vulnerable where her father and love for Touchstone are concerned, making her a sympathetic heroine. Rich, complex, involving, hard to put down, this first novel, an Australian import, is excellent high fantasy. The suitably climactic ending leaves no loose ends, but readers will hope for a sequel. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)