Abhorsen (Abhorsen Series #3)

Abhorsen (Abhorsen Series #3)

by Garth Nix

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Overview

In the years since the publication of Sabriel, Garth Nix has proven himself one of the most accomplished fantasy writers around. Now he has completed the hotly anticipated conclusion of a trilogy that ranks with the finest fantasy published today. For Abhorsen continues the story of Lirael, formerly Second Assistant Librarian, now Abhorsen-in-Waiting and charged with maintaining the border between Life and Death. Together with Prince Sam, Mogget, and the Disreputable Dog, Lirael must forestall the waking of an unspeakable evil before it has the chance to wield its ultimate powers of destruction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060528737
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/20/2004
Series: Abhorsen Series , #3
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 739,660
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.32(d)
Lexile: 890L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Garth Nix is a New York Times bestselling novelist and has been a full-time writer since 2001, but has also worked as a literary agent, marketing consultant, book editor, book publicist, book sales representative, bookseller, and as a part-time soldier in the Australian Army Reserve.

Garth’s many books include the Old Kingdom fantasy series, beginning with Sabriel and continuing to Goldenhand; the sci-fi novels Shade’s Children and A Confusion of Princes; the Regency romance with magic Newt’s Emerald; and novels for children including The Ragwitch, the Seventh Tower series, the Keys to the Kingdom series, and Frogkisser!, which is now in development as a feature film with Fox Animation/Blue Sky Studios. Garth has written numerous short stories, some of which are collected in Across the Wall and To Hold the Bridge. He has also cowritten several children’s book series with Sean Williams, including TroubleTwisters and Have Sword, Will Travel.

More than six million copies of his books have been sold around the world and his work has been translated into forty-two languages. You can find him online at www.garthnix.com.

Read an Excerpt

Abhorsen (MSR)Chapter OneA House Besieged

There was another fog, far away from the smog of Corvere. Six hundred miles to the north, across the Wall that separated Ancelstierre from the Old Kingdom. The Wall where the Old Kingdom's magic really began and Ancelstierre's modern technology failed.

This fog was different from its far-southern cousin. It was not white but the dark grey of a storm cloud, and it was completely unnatural. This fog had been spun from air and Free Magic and was born on a hilltop far from any water. It survived and spread despite the heat of a late-spring afternoon, which should have burned it into nothing.

Ignoring sun and light breezes, the fog spread from the hill and rolled south and east, thin tendrils creeping out in advance of the main body. Half a league on from the hill, one of these tendrils separated into a cloud that rose high in the air and crossed the mighty river Ratterlin. Once across, it sank to sit like a toad on the eastern bank, and new fog begun to puff out of it.

Soon the two arms of fog shrouded both western and eastern shores of the Ratterlin, though the sun still shone on the river in between.

Both river and fog sped at their very different paces towards the Long Cliffs. The river dashed along, getting faster and faster as it headed to the great waterfall, where it would plunge down more than a thousand feet. The fog was slow and threatening. It thickened and rose higher as it rolled on.

A few yards before it reached the Long Cliffs, the fog stopped, though it still grew thicker and rose higher, threatening the island that sat in the middle of the river and on the edge of the waterfall.An island with high white walls that enclosed a house and gardens.

The fog did not spread across the river, nor lean in too far as it rose. There were unseen defenses that held it back, that kept the sun shining on the white walls, the gardens, and the red-tiled house. The fog was a weapon, but it was only the first move in a battle, only the beginning of a siege. The battle lines were drawn and the House invested.

For the whole river-circled isle was Abhorsen's House. Home to the Abhorsen, whose birthright and charge was to maintain the borders of Life and Death. The Abhorsen, who used necromantic bells and Free Magic, but who was neither necromancer nor Free Magic sorcerer. The Abhorsen, who sent any Dead who trespassed in Life back to whence they came.

The creator of the fog knew that the Abhorsen was not actually in the House. The Abhorsen and her husband, the King, had been lured across the Wall and would presumably be dealt with there. That was part of her Master's plan, long since laid but only recently begun in earnest.

The plan had many parts, in many countries, though the very heart and reason for it lay in the Old Kingdom. War, assassination, and refugees were elements of the plan, all manipulated by a scheming, subtle mind that had waited generations for everything to come to fruition.

But as with any plan, there had already been complications and problems. Two of them were in the House. One was a young woman, who had been sent south by the witches who lived in the glacier-clad mountain at the Ratterlin's source. The Clayr, who Saw many futures in the ice, and who would certainly try to twist the present to their own ends. The woman was one of their elite mages, easily identified by the colored waistcoat she wore. A red waistcoat, marking her as a Second Assistant Librarian.

The maker of the fog had seen her, black haired and pale skinned, surely no older than twenty, a mere fingernail sliver of an age. She had heard the young woman's name, called out in desperate battle.

Lirael.

The other complication was better known, and possibly more trouble, though the evidence was conflicting. A young man, hardly more than a boy, curly haired from his father, black eyebrowed from his mother, and tall from both. His name was Sameth, the royal son of King Touchstone and the Abhorsen Sabriel.

Prince Sameth was meant to be the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, heir to the powers of The Book of the Dead and the seven bells. But the maker of the fog doubted that now. She was very old, and once she had known a great deal about the strange family and their House in the river. She had fought Sameth barely a night past, and he had not fought like an Abhorsen; even the way he cast his Charter Magic was strange, reminiscent of neither the royal line nor the Abhorsens.

Sameth and Lirael were not alone. They were supported by two creatures who appeared to be no more than a small bad-tempered white cat and a large black and tan dog of friendly disposition. Yet both were much more than they seemed, though exactly what they were was another slippery piece of information. Most likely they were Free Magic spirits of some kind, bound in service to the Abhorsen and the Clayr. The cat was known to some degree. His name was Mogget, and there was speculation about him in certain books of lore. The Dog was a different matter. She was new, or so old that any book that told of her was long since dust. The creature in the fog thought the latter. Both the young woman and her hound had come from the Great Library of the Clayr. It was likely both of them, like the Library, had hidden depths and contained unknown powers.

Together, these four could be formidable opponents, and they represented a serious threat. But the maker of the fog did not have to fight them directly, nor could she, for the House was too well guarded by both spell and swift water. Her orders were to make sure that they were trapped in the House. The House was to be besieged while matters progressed elsewhere — until it was too late for Lirael, Sam, and their companions to do anything at all.

Abhorsen (MSR). Copyright © by Garth Nix. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Customer Reviews

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Abhorsen 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 361 reviews.
my3cairns More than 1 year ago
I am 51 years old and I loved this series. These books are well written and interesting for anyone. The content could be frightening to a young child, but they are great books for the "young adult" or older.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WitchyWriter 9 months ago
There are some people who don’t enjoy the progression that happens in some trilogies, where the first novel is sort of the introductory conflict, the second novel deals with even bigger events like the fate of the world, and the third novel deals with the fate of the whole friggin universe. If you’re that type of person, you might not like these books. You should still read them, of course, because they’re fantastic. But, you’ve been warned. This third installment to the original “trilogy” (now expanded with the new sequel Goldenhand) definitely escalates to the “save the universe” level. It does it so organically, though, that you really can’t (or shouldn’t, anyway) complain. We get more Sabriel and Lirael and Sameth, all good things. There’s more Mogget and Dog. There are new, interesting characters that you want to love. There are secondary characters that we’ve already met who grow more prominent. There’s suspense and more time spent in Death and the best villains yet. This isn’t a light, magical story. This trilogy (or series, now) is dark, and heavy. It’s supposed to be. And it earns it. It earns the weight, and seriousness, and still gives you all the feels. Again, Mogget is my absolute favorite. I’ve said that three times now in these reviews. You really get to the meat of it in this book. Fans of Sabriel and Lirael have to read this book—it’d be silly not to. It’s a beautiful closure to the conflicts started in the previous books, and heralds in a brief respite for our characters before we get to jump in to Goldenhand.
koalamom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Loved it. A marvelous conclusion to the trilogy by Garth Nix. It takes you in and you don't want to leave while you read how Lireal, who suddenly finds herself Abhorsen-In-Waiting to a sister she never knew she had. now must save the world for the Destroyer.She'll need and use the help from her family, both those she grew up with and those she has by blood but just met. Scar fices will be made but willing sacrifices they will be.
mazeway on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. Nix introduces some really interesting notions in this series. About 1/4 of the way in, I thought, well they must be very near what I thought would be the Final Confrontation, THEN what will they do? But it is a credit to the writing that the confrontation takes place at the end like it's supposed to and the story never drags.
nm.spring08.t.keeton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book starts with a violent twist that will send any involved reader stumbling back in surprise and devastation.
Pool_Boy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Satisfying conclusion to the series, but a tad disjointed at times. Character development was a bit weak though I still enjoyed the story. I thought the final part of the ending a bit abrupt, too. Still a good read. You almost have to read all three books after you get more than knee deep in the first book.
bell7 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When we left Lirael and Sam, they had retreated to the Abhorsen's house, pursued by the Dead. We find them much as they were, preparing to leave, knowing that they have to go up against what is known as the Destroyer, a being that was bound but now is trying to put itself back together, with the help of a necromancer, Hedge, and the unwitting help of Sam's friend Nick. Lirael still has to try to meet Nick, to make what the Clayr Saw become true before it's too late.The third book in the trilogy is essentially a race against the clock, as Sam and Lirael try to stop Hedge before the hemispheres that are the Destroyer can come together. It also nicely rounds out the world-building that Nix has been doing all along, giving us a fuller picture of the Charter, Free Magic, and the beginning of the Old Kingdom. If I wasn't quite as engaged with this one as I was with Sabriel and Lirael, I know it was primarily because I had read the books right on top of the other and I had more calls on my time in the last several days that distracted me from reading. I would certainly consider this a trilogy worth rereading.
sweird on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book picks up directly from the end scene of the previous one (excepting the prologue, keeping tabs on Sabriel and Touchstone in Ancelstierre). Though there is a bit of a heroes journeying forth in the first part, I didn't feel like it was derivative. Lirael, Sameth, Mogget, and DD go off to rescue Nick and almost manage it. Alas, they fail in their first attempt, and are forced to follow toward Ancelstierre, hot on the heels of the Big Bad. The final showdown is very cool, and much is explained. The DD departs for parts unknown, and I'm still unclear as to what happens to Mogget, which is my chief complaint.
phoebesmum on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The last book in a trilogy and sadly predictable: you line up your Forces of Light, you line up your Forces of Evil. Who do you think¿s going to win? But the Disreputable Dog lifts it above the average.
chibimajo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Last book in the trilogy. Continues where Lireal left off.
tloeffler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fitting ending to the Abhorsen trilogy. The Prologue threw me for a loop, but the whole book was so compelling that I read as fast as I could just to see what would happen! Sam and Lirael, along with Moggett and The Disreputable Dog, continue the search for Sam's friend Nick, who is being used by "the bad guys" for their nefarious purposes. A roller coaster ride of a book, with most of the ends tied up. A very good fantasy series.
tiamatq on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was an awesome ending to the trilogy! Lirael and Sam both play important roles, though maybe not what they expected as the story began. We get some long-awaited answers about the Old Kingdom's magic, the Dog, and Mogget. Yay! And, even better, we learn a little history about the Abhorsen family that paves the way for more stories! I think this was a very powerful ending (yeah, I cried) and I loved the way that Nix tied his characters' stories together. I can't wait for the prequel!!!
Crowyhead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a very satisfying conclusion to Lirael.
willowcove on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Really good series. The first volume is the best though.
francescadefreitas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
And I fall back in love with the series characters again. And while I was glad to see the story tie together, I wish there were more books set in this world.
CeridwynR on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This brings everything to a conclusion beautifully. I enjoy experiencing Lirael's maturation, even though at times it feels slightly unrealistic. I love the ending with the Disreputable Dog. I really enjoy what Nix does with Nicholas and the fine line he walks with a character so controlled by evil. The action is well-written and visceral and there's such a lot of it! This really is an adventure story and a bloody good one.
woodge on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Continues the story from Lirael. Part 3 of a trilogy.
conformer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For some reason, it took forever to finish this book and the Abhorsen trilogy. Maybe because I didn't want to leave the world of the Old Kingdom, or maybe because I did but didn't want to bother with straggling thru the drama of another fantasy quest tale. To its credit, Abhorsen manages to polish some of the blemishes that marred the same characters from Lirael and make them more likable. At the same time, both a whole lot of nothing happens during the interminable march from one end of the map to the other, and the same old crap that happened before pops up again; hordes of raised dead, double-crossing spiritual powers, and tourist forays into the realm of Death.A happy ending, at least(sort of), and a suggestion of more stories, but an awful lot of effort for such a small reward.
vintage_books on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A more mature and confident Lirael is presented in this third and final Abhorsen Trilogy ending. It's great to see Lirael as a more confident and skilled Abhorsen, working her good against evil and the dead.At first, I thought way too much attention and space was given to the writing of Nick and Ancelstierre. But in re-reading the sections where nick is pictured, I actually think Nick is just framed in important scenes to make the reader aware that this non-action character is very important to the plot. In the future, I hope Mr. Nix either makes this type of character with more action or more substance.
Dog_Ogler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I agree with the previous review *except* (and it's a strong exception) for the "whiny, angsty teenagers" part. How funny to whine about the (alleged) whining of others! (Especially when those others are fictional characters!) This has come up a few times in reviews of this book and its prequel, and I find that saddening.Lirael & Sam wouldn't be nearly as convincing if they were personally flawless & never struggled with a difficult emotion. I'm sorry, but sadness, grief and loss are inescapable realities of life, and a person (especially a young person) going through them may not come across as perfectly composed and well-behaved (think about it: Lirael had no-one to talk to AT ALL! That means no social/emotional support of any kind). For anyone forced to go through these things, the last thing you need is some judgemental, emotionally constipated and underdeveloped onlooker who clearly has no idea about how to deal with these things themselves, hypocritically labelling you as "whiny & angsty". It's an understandable act of projection, because no-one wants to have to deal with such painful difficulties, but it also says a *lot* about our society & culture when even fictional characters can't be allowed some judgement-free space in which to work these things out. And if you have that much trouble dealing with this reality in fiction, good luck with real life! No wonder kids are binge-drinking. I can't blame them, when there's so little tolerance in our culture for the usual difficulties of being a young person.Nix has bravely gone for emotional realism in fantasy fiction - an often unsuccessful writerly endeavour - and done it brilliantly. Bravo.
cherrymischievous on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A rousing and very satisfying conclusion to a most wonderful tale!As per usual, this book is fast-paced page-turner. The storytelling quality is very compelling. A 5 out of 5. Nix gives us characters which will stay with a reader long after one has finished reading the book. Another 5 out of 5. World building is beautifully woven that a reader can suspend disbelief very effortlessly. Masterpiece.
kawgirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A friend got me hooked into this series, which starts with "Sabriel." The whole series is a good read and I was sad when I had finished the last book.
allify on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Abhorsen is completely connected to the story in Lirael and therefore cannot be read alone. I enjoyed Lirael more, only because I was curious to who Lirael and Sameth really were, but as that mystery was solved, this book wasn't as compelling. However, it was still an extremely good read all the way to the end. That's the thing with endings - they don't often live up to the rest of the book, but I felt a complete sense of closure with Abhorsen and even a little hope for the future of the characters. Great read!
bikerevolution on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I don't really need to write a review for this. If you read Sabriel and Lirael, then you'll probs wanna finish the trilogy. I don't want to spoil anything, but the world is basically over if our heroines don't bring their A-game.