Reviews of Sabriel (1995)
Review by purpledragon42 (2003-11-21)
This book is a must read for anyone who loves fantasy. When I first picked it up in 1995 I was already an avid fan of the genre, and yet, reading Sabriel felt like reading fantasy all over again for the very first time! However, I disagree with the synopsis which says it falls into the science fiction genre, though I can see why that might think that. Sabriel's universe is actually comprised of two very different worlds. One is a world of progress and science, where technology has produced cars, machine guns, electricity, etc. This is also the world in which Sabriel has spent most of her life. However, when the wind blows in from the other world, the Old Kingdom on the other side of the wall, lights go out, cars won't start and guns won't fire. So you see, it's really more of an urban fantasy, than true science fiction.
When the book starts out our heroine, Sabriel, has just graduated from her private school and is making plans to attend a university. However, her life is turned upside down after her father sends a creature from the world of the dead with a message; she must journey to the Old Kingdom immediately. Thus, this young girl, though knowledgable in the ways of magic, must travel into an ancient and unknown land, one rife with nightmarish dangers, where appearences can be deceiving and things are never exactly what they seem.