Covered in dog hair, Obsessed with books, Wondering what it's all about. I suspect the answer is ice cream and the ocean.
Abhorsen by Garth Nix
Original Publication Year: 2003
Genre(s): YA, Fantasy
Format: Audio (cds from Library)
Narrated by: Tim Curry
Right from the start this book produced powerful emotions in me. I was so caught up in the fate of the Old Kingdom and the band of characters Garth Nix had created that I felt completely invested and anxious about how things were going to work out.
Abhorsen picks up right where Lirael leaves off and it spends most of it's time with Lirael and Sameth though there are occasional glimpses into what's going on with Sabriel and Touchstone and with Sam's friend Nick who is the unwitting slave of the evil being unleashed. This book piles on the odds against the good guys as they are facing a plot that has been in the making for hundreds of years. The action really picks up in this installment and many of the mysteries of the first book are resolved. Lirael and Sam discover their true roles and get comfortable with them as they face crisis after crisis. The book ends with a dramatic stand-off which is not without consequences.
First of all, it is so appropriate that the cover shows Lirael and the Disreputable Dog. The relationship between these two was my favorite part of the book and it is arguably the most important part. The Disreputable Dog is now firmly ensconced as one of my favorite characters of all time - definitely in the top 2 or 3 animal characters. She is goofy, loyal, fierce, mysterious, wise, disreputable and she epitomizes the love and friendship dogs offer. Just imagine if your dog could talk and had immense amounts of power and wisdom but was still, at heart, a dog. She's awesome.
Garth Nix is a great writer and extremely creative. The world of The Old Kingdom is incredibly rich and feels like a real place with a fascinating and detailed mythology. He reveals quite a bit more about the mysterious Charter which governs magic in this world - what it is and why it came to be. It's completely unique and while I normally find too much time spent on setting etc... to be dull, this is not at all. On top of being really interesting it is revealed organically as part of the story. Really everything the reader has ever wondered about the Old Kingdom is teased out and explained including Mogget's origins!
Tim Curry's narration continued to be excellent though I still wished he had done the Disreputable Dog a little differently.
FINAL VERDICT: A completely satisfying and emotional conclusion to the Abhorsen trilogy. This whole series has been superlative and has definitely become one of my favorite YA adventures! 4 out of 5 Stars!