Sabriel Read-a-long – Week Three

It is already the final week of the Sabriel read-a-long. I actually finished reading this week’s chapters early instead of waiting until the night before. lol. So, this post is going up much earlier than previous weeks. The read-a-long was 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.

NOTE: THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS WEEK’S DISCUSSION!! Here are my thoughts on this week’s questions:

1. Pick a character — were you satisfied with their journey in Sabriel?

I’ve really enjoyed Sabriel’s journey in this book. She started out super green with a single-minded mission of saving her father and ended up becoming a hero that helped save an entire kingdom despite all the odds being stacked against her. She had to learn how to translate her skills into action so that she could navigate the new, unfamiliar life she found herself inhabiting. I thought it was a compelling coming-of-age story. She still has plenty of room for continued growth as the series progresses since she’s barely scratched the surface of learning about the Old Kingdom and her role as Abhorsen, but she’s definitely grown into the role during the trials she faced in this story.

2. What did you think of the reveal for who Touchstone and what Mogget is?

I wasn’t really surprised by either reveal. I thought the context clues made Touchstone’s identity fairly obvious pretty early. It made sense for one of the main characters to be a royal with the importance of the royal blood in relation to the charter magic. So, I was fine with that reveal. I didn’t guess the specifics of Mogget’s reveal, but I got the general gist of him right. I thought the way his nature was used to defeat Kerrigor was particularly ingenious and liked it a lot.

3. Was Kerrigor scary enough for you, or do you wish he had been more menacing?

I thought he was scary enough. I just wish the story had spent a bit more time with him. The characters we followed were constantly running from him. So, we didn’t really get to see him being all that menacing until the very end. Even then, most of the gruesome stuff took place before he got to the main characters and wasn’t described in a ton of detail. I actually think we saw Mogget do more damage to the main characters when he blew up the wall than Kerrigor did in the final battle. As a side note, I’m really curious to see the personality that emerges from Kerrigor’s new form. So, I hope they keep him around in future books.

4. Where do you think the rest of the series is headed?

I’m sure the characters will probably return to the Old Kingdom and attempt to re-establish the monarchy or some other form of functioning government. Sabriel has her work cut out for her in rounding up all the dead/undead things wandering the kingdom, and Touchstone will have a big job of trying to rein in the anarchy. I’m sure the two of them will probably engage in some sort of romance, as well. That was probably my least favorite part of this book because it just felt a bit rushed and forced, but maybe I’ll like it a little better once their relationship gets fleshed out a bit in subsequent books.

Well. That’s it for this week’s questions! Have you read Sabriel? If so, what did you think of it?

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. 🙂

Sabriel Read-a-long – Week One

I’m so excited to participate in this read-a-long of Sabriel by Garth Nix. 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. Our main character comes into this world dead, but her father immediately brings her back to life. What do you think this foretells for the rest of the book going forward?

I’m honestly not sure what this foretells. I assume this book will heavily center death and/or necromancy at the heart of its story since it seems her father is a necromancer of some sort. I also think that her resurrection may be the key to her own powers or provide her with extra insight into the world of the dead. Whatever it means, it was a really cool way to start the story and gripped my interest immediately.

2. There is a creeping sense of foreboding as soon as Sabriel crosses the Wall and enters the Old Kingdom. What do you think lurks there?

Based on what has been presented in the story so far, I’m assuming it will either be something dead and/or magical since the Old Kingdom appears to be the only domain with such creatures. I find the idea of the different kingdoms fascinating, and I’m honestly curious about why they are so different. I think the main villain lurking there will likely be the entity that attempted to run off with her spirit during the prologue, but that is mere speculation. 🙂

3. When Sabriel reaches the Wall, she is shown immediately as be both competent, and unsure. Does this endear her to you, as a reader, or make you less sure about her prospects in the story?

I really like Sabriel so far. These conflicting aspects of her make sense given the amount of training she has received. She is clearly capable but lacks real world experience of putting her competence into practice. The struggle of learning how to do so has made her relatable, in my opinion, and sets her character up for room to grow. I think it will end up making a great coming-of-age story.

4. Charter Magic is a huge part of this story. What do you think of the magic system so far? What do you think the Charter Stones do? Why are they destroyed?

I think the magic system has been really interesting so far, but I still don’t really understand it. I’m sure that will come once I get more of the story under my belt. I’m just going to take a wild guess at the rest of this question. I think the Charter Stones might create the foundation for the wall between the world of the living and dead. When destroyed or damaged, it can create a passageway into and out of the realm of the dead and weaken Charter magic. So, I’m sure someone would probably destroy one if they wanted to release an entity from the realm of death or try to get there themselves, maybe to try to save a dead loved one.

5. We meet Mogget in Chapter Eight. What do you think he is? Is he good, evil, or neither? Why do you think he is forbidden from speaking about the Greater Dead? Is it a device for the author, to drag out the mystery, or do you think there is a in-story reason?

OMG. I love Mogget so much. He seems to be some type of ancient magical force, but I love that his form is a talking cat with a snarky attitude. I don’t think he is good or evil. He seems like he would do whatever was in his best self interest if given the choice rather than being driven by any particular principles. I think there is probably an in-story reason for why he cannot talk about the Greater Dead. They seem to be very dangerous, and I’m wondering if maybe his binding was set to keep information about them out of the hands of anyone else.

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 eleven. 🙂