My younger son reads a lot of SF & Fantasy. Ever since he polished off the Ranger’s Apprentice series in 3rd grade, we’ve had multiple librarians recommend Sabriel by Garth Nix as something he might like. But despite multiple exposures, he’s never been interested and it never quite made it to the top of my reading priority list.
This month, the Goodreads SciFi and Fantasy Book Club selected Sabriel as one of their group reads. I decided to try to be more social about my reading in 2017, so finally took the time to read Sabriel.
Like many of the others reading along, I think I would have loved Sabriel if I had first read it as a tween or young teen. I liked the world/magic system, but as an adult found the writing just adequate with a few too many Deus Ex Machina Moments. I wish the audiobook had been available, because I think it would have enjoyed it even more as an audiobook.
The edition I got from the library was an omnibus with Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen. And while I typically find my enjoyment diminishes if I read multiple books in the same series sequentially (or too many books in exactly the same genre in a row), I was hooked enough that I decided to just continue on once I finished Sabriel. I would definitely recommend making sure you have access to Abhorsen (the 3rd in the trilogy) before starting Lirael because the two almost seem to be parts of the same whole separated by a cliff-hanger and arbitrary volume length constraints. The continuously escalating action keeps the pages turning, the Disreputable Dog is charming, but the writing is still choppier than I prefer.