Sabriel Read-a-long – Week Two

I’ve managed to keep up with my reading for the read-a-long of Sabriel by Garth Nix! It has been a lot of fun so far, and this week’s chapters really took things up a notch with action, introduction of a mysterious new character, and exciting revelations about the past of the kingdom and characters. The read-a-long is being hosted by Jordyn @ Birdie’s Book Nook. You can find out all about it on her blog! So, be sure to stop by her page and see her thoughts on this book (and many others), as well.

Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him.

With Sabriel, the first installment in the Abhorsen series, Garth Nix exploded onto the fantasy scene as a rising star, in a novel that takes readers to a world where the line between the living and the dead isn’t always clear—and sometimes disappears altogether.

Here are my thoughts on this week’s discussion questions:

1. Would you fly in a paperwing, given the chance?

Nope. Not a chance. lol. It sounds way too rickety for me despite its magic, as evidenced by it crash landing not too long into their journey. So, I’m going to have to pass.

2. What are your thoughts on talking animal companions, as a whole?

I LOVE talking animal companions, or really animal companions of any sort. They are often super adorable and great company to the other characters in the story. Mogget from this story is one of my favorite types of animal companion, one that isn’t quite what he seems. I like the mystery of not knowing what he’s capable of or how he might act. I also love that he’s so snarky, and that is a quality that my favorite animal companions often have.

3. Pick a character and discuss what you suspect about their journey going forward.

I’m curious to see what will happen to Abhorsen, Sabriel’s father. She has spent the entire book searching for him and thinking that she needs to save him in order to succeed in saving the kingdom. My theory is that she will try to save him and fail. I think his loss will spur her to do what is necessary to become the hero through a mix of guilt for failing him and a desire for justice. I just don’t really see her story being that interesting moving forward if she manages to save him, but maybe I’m wrong. I’ll find out next week!

4. Who or what do you think Touchstone is?

The introduction of Touchstone was a bit weird. I found the in depth description of his body, right down to his circumcised penis, to be a bit of an odd way to meet the character. As for who or what he is, I’m not really sure. In this part of the text, he provided two opposing accounts of his identity, and I don’t think either one of them was the whole truth. He’s clearly connected to the royals in some way, and I wonder if maybe he is the last of the royal bloodline. I feel it would be fitting since Sabriel is the last Abhorsen, as well. I’m not sure, though, because he fell into servant mode really easily for a royal. So, maybe he really was their servant or guard, and I’m just being too skeptical of him…

Well. That’s it for this week’s questions! Have you read Sabriel? If so, what did you think of it? No spoilers please since I’m only on chapter 22. 🙂


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