genre: young adult, fantasy
I like reading my books with absolutely no expectations. I don't even like to know what they're about, really, I'd much rather rely on the recommendation of a good friend. I need surprise in my stories that much. So, when I picked up Sabriel, I had NO idea of what it would be about, I just knew my friend Tricia put it on my list for the Reading Swap Challenge.
Was I ever pleased.
Sabriel has spent most of her life at school, learning enough magic that by her 17th year, she is able to perform some of the spells necessary to keep the dead in Death. And these dead from outside Death will do anything to keep their false forms, preying on those that are living. When it soon becomes clear that Sabriel needs to go find something precious to her that has been taken, she must leave the safe walls of her school and enter the Kingdom, where magic and the dead will most certainly make her journey a harrowing one.
Can I rave? The fantasy world: brilliant, SO intricate yet easily accessible. Death itself is ingenious, a land of pathways and gates that can not only ensnare Sabriel with its tricks but cough up its victims back to life. The plot: a journey that never bored me, never harped on anything unnecessary. The characters: just right, although the only tiny thing that bothered me was the dialogue occasionally feeling off, but it won't stop me from giving this book five glorious stars.
If you are even thinking of becoming a young adult fantasy fan, put this on the top of your list. I will warn those faint of heart, however. It is a DARK story. Dark and gory and intense. But there are these little moments of redemption throughout, twice I got tears - and maybe its the seriousness of the situation, the feeling that death and its minions are truly looming over you, that makes those moments for Sabriel even sweeter.