When I First Read Sabriel
Here are some fun facts about Garth Nix from Epic Reads.
I don’t remember exactly when I first read “Sabriel” by Garth Nix, but I believe it was during my high school years, over a decade and a half ago. I only started reading books for fun during first my freshman year of high school, so I was pretty new to reading back them. I was still discovering the things I liked and didn’t like to read.
I was drawn to this book because it had a female protagonist. I was also curious about the heroine’s using bells in battle against her foes. I thought it was a unique concept, and still think it’s novel a novel idea today.
What I Remember of Sabriel
“Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker?” – Garth Nix, Sabriel
I remember the bells and how Sabriel used them to enter the realm of the dead. I recall how each bell had a different effect when rung. I also remember Mogget transforming into a white glowing creature I always imagined looking like an archon from the StarCraft video game series. Mogget is awesome.
Why I Wanted to Re-Read Sabriel
I really enjoyed reading “Sabriel” the first time, and then re-reading it several times after that. I’ve actually read the whole Old Kingdom trilogy a couple of times already. Garth Nix’s novel is simple and easy to read. The romance wasn’t very central to the story, and I enjoyed that a lot. The focus was actually on saving people.
I also liked the magic system in this book. The use of Charter Magic and the bells. The different gates one passes through on the way to death. It was all very interesting without ever being complicated.
How I Felt After Re-Reading Sabriel
If you can spare an hour, here is a more comprehensive podcast interview with Garth Nix by Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Re-reading “Sabriel” was like catching up with an old friend. I still have the original copy of the novel I bought around 15 years ago. The pages are all yellowish and crumbling in places. When I was a child, I always wondered how long it took for books to get that crumbly.
When I was a teenager, I was even more confused because I noticed my mother’s copies of “Bridget Jones’s Diary” and “The Notebook” getting all crumbly, but I didn’t think the books were that old. After all, weren’t the movies just coming out back then?
Anyway, the “Sabriel” didn’t lose any of its magic over the years. It’s a timeless classic for me, and I hope that many more young adults get to read it like I did.