Sabriel by Kali Ciesemier for Picture Book Report

Before Christmas I found a copy of Sabriel by Garth Nix at the University Book Shop.  I’m glad I did.  I had read Nix’s seven-part series The Keys to the Kingdom and had not enjoyed them.  It was a steampunk fantasy where a boy must defeat the seven rulers of the universe named for the days of the week.  Something about the series didn’t gel with me and I found myself out of sympathy with them.

It was Sabriel that I wanted to read.  I couldn’t find it on the library shelf so I was glad to see a copy.  I’m glad to have it.  Within a few paragraphs the writing had my attention.  The book was well paced, the adventures of a girl coming into adulthood who must inherit the role of being the last of the spirit guides in a kingdom where the dead won’t stay down.  The magic is coherent to the situation, involving zombies and powerful exorcism.  The characters are both flawed and sympathetic.  It was all well drawn out.

I have seen the next two books on the library shelf and look forward to reading them.

Sabriel in the study at Wyvern School in Ancelstierre by Kali Ciesemier

Ancelstierre is the non-magical southern kingdom where Sabriel grows up.  The name looks to me like ‘Angleterre’, the French name for England.  Does that make the Old Kingdom, overrun by restless dead north of the Great Wall Scotland?

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