Abhorsen by Garth NixAbhorsen used to be the final book in the trilogy of the same name, but Garth Nix has since written a prequel novel and a follow up novella, with a fifth book currently in the works (eeep!!) Abhorsen is nonetheless a conclusion of sorts, wrapping up the harrowing adventure that started in Lirael and offering up some closure for other plot points introduced in Sabriel. Because it's the final book in the trilogy proper and I want to avoid spoilers, I've decided to change the format of my review here, so I can properly gush over the series as a whole, while highlighting the broader points of what went down in the finale. So, brace yourselves, we're going on a feels trip:
Published January 7th 2003 by Harpercollins
When the ninth gate calls, who can resist its summons?
An old evil has arisen - freed from its subterranean prison and seeking to escape the binding silver hemispheres which prevent it from finally unleashing its terrible powers.
Lirael, newly come into her inheritance as the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, knows that the fate of the world is in her hands. With only a vision from the Clayr to guide her, and the uncertain help of her companions — Sam, the Disreputable Dog, and Mogget — Lirael sets out on her perilous mission.
Then answer must be found somewhere in Life or Death - but can a former Second Assistant Librarian possibly discover the means to defeat the Destroyer...before it is too late?
- Abhorsen was an incredibly intense conclusion to the original trilogy. At less than 20% in, I could already feel the pressure building, my feelings were steadily gaining momentum and honestly, I wasn't sure how I was going to make it through the remaining 80%.
- I know I've gushed about Garth Nix's world-building in my review for Sabriel - and Lirael but it bears repeating one last time: I WAS BLOWN AWAY BY THIS WORLD GUYS. It's filled to the brim with incredible magic, both light and dark. The Charter Magic is fascinating and pure... the Free Magic is terrifying and corrosive. I.can.NOT.get.enough of it all!
- We're dealing with Necromancy in this series and it's done in a wickedly unique, creative and chilling fashion. The Abhorsen is a good Necromancer, whose magical bells wield power over The Dead and grant her the ability to send them back into Death...whenever some evil Necromancer decides to raise an army of the Dead. Or worse...
- Speaking of Death...there's sort of another world within The Old Kingdom, where The Abhorsen and Necromancers can walk in Death. That world is spell-binding, eerie, hauntingly beautiful and not to mention clearly scary as balls! I'm happy to say that we get to explore Death once more in Abhorsen and it's just as chilling and oddly-alluring as it was before.
- The characters are truly amazing! Whether they were the main characters or secondary ones, they made an impression. The main characters have easily become life-time favorites of mine and I know I'll return to them again and again. They do quite a bit of growing up in Abhorsen: Lirael is transformed into a legendary heroine worthy of her title. Sameth fully comes into his own and well, I'd follow him into battle any day. And then there's poor Nicholas. Well I can't reveal anything about him without crossing over into spoilers but WOW. Not to be outdone,the secondary characters shine as well! Some might not seem important at first, but before you know it, they've made you care for them...which made the many deaths all the more poignant.
- Despite the fact that the main character switches in the second book from Sabriel to Lirael, and remains so for the conclusion, Sabriel still has a strong presence in the sequels, as does Touchstone. I adored the little mentions of events directly related to Sabriel and her adventures, as well as her appearances throughout. I came to adore Lirael but Sabriel will always hold a special place in my heart.
- Abhorsen offered up some fascinating background information on the origin of The Old Kingdom, the source of it's magic, as well as some history on Mogget the magical cat (that isn't really a cat), The Disreputable Dog and The Abhorsen's Magical Bells, used to weave magic and control The Dead...
- Speaking of Cats and Dogs^^ - THERE IS A MAGICAL CAT (which again, isn't really a cat) AND DOG!! They travel alongside the heroes and OMG I LOVE THEM. As companions they are awesome enough on their own but Nix truly turns them into supporting characters all their own. I adore books with magical/talking animals and Mogget and Dog certainly don't disappoint.
- This series is a new all-time favorite of mine, one that I know I will be rereading multiple times in the future. The feelings I went through while reading this were reminiscent of what I felt reading my absolute favorite book series and that is NOT something I'm saying lightly. To be clear though, I'm not comparing the two series in ANY WAY. Both are wholly unique and stand on their own. I'm just saying that both of these gave me similar FEELINGS. I was completely taken in by the world, the characters, the magic and even though it was dark and scary, I want to live there! I want to know these characters personally! I want to use this magic (Charter Magic only though!)
- I listened to this series on audiobook and all were narrated by the incomparable Tim Curry. His narration was an experience all on it's own and it worked perfectly with the story here. Audiobook fans: you NEED to listen to this series, even if you've already read the books! There is not enough praise in the world to properly convey how amazing the narration is.
- Bottom line? 2015 was definitely the year of The Abhorsen for me. Garth Nix has created a masterpiece here and one that I will not soon forget. I can't believe it took me so long to read this series, but at the same time, this was the perfect time for me to discover it. Part of me is glad that I met Nix before I read his series here, otherwise I would've been a fangirling mess.
''Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker?'' #CHILLS
Fantasy readers: The Abhorsen Trilogy is a MUST-READ! There's no other way to say it - and I've run out of adjectives to describe it. This series grabbed me from the first pages of Sabriel and did not let go until the last words of Abhorsen. My heart will forever belong to these books, to the characters, and to this world. I laughed, I cried, I was scared out of my mind and my heart was filled to the brim with love and FEELINGS. It might sound dramatic but: I will never be the same again.
My Rating: 5+ out of 5 Stars!