I just finished reading one Hell of a book, called Sabriel by Garth Nix. I also have it's sequel, Lirael ready to read, but I'm going to try my best to hold of reading that until tomorrow. I would have the third and last instalment of the series, Abhorsen, but the library messed up. I'll get my hands on it though, don't worry.
For more about the book, click read more
The book is about a girl called, you might have guessed it, Sabriel, and her adventures in the old Kingdom, hence the name of the series, "The old Kingdom series" (at least, that's what I call it). In the world of Sabriel, the world is split into two distinct parts, Acclestierre, and The Old Kingdom. In Acclestierre, technology is the precedent, although it's not too advanced, the automobile only being 10 years old, and biplanes possibly younger, whereas in the old Kingdom, they rely more on magic. Most people in the Old Kingdom don't know anything about technology, and barely anyone in Acclestierre knows anything about magic, except those living near the wall that seperates the two places. Though both places are featured in Sabriel, the Old Kingdom is the main setting still, for it and especially for the sequels.
As I hate giving away spoilers, you'll have to forgive how very vague or undetailed I might be about to get, but I'll do my best. In the Old Kingdom, there exist necromancers, and dead spirits that come back to life even without a necromantic master. The Abhorsen is the one charged to defeat this evil, wherever it may be. The Necromancers, and Abhorsen too, use bells to bind and control the dead, and even the living, but the Abhorsen is a whole different kind of necromancer, like I said, one that destroys dead, not raises them.
The magic in the Old Kingdom is known as charter magic, and the Charter is as old as time itself, and contains the story of everything that ever was, so there are spells for pretty much everything, including navigating the 9 layers of death, though the realm of death, while a major plot point, is barely really explored, I mean, who really wants to explore death?
I'll admit I prefer the sequels, which are based on an entirely different character, Lireal, and her adventures, but I don't think that has much to do with why I prefer them, Sabriel is still a good character, if anything, Mogget is probably my favourite character. Mogget is a mystery all the way through, so I can't really say much about him without giving things away, but essentially he's a talking cat that is definitely more than meets the eye, his collar is covered in charter marks, and has a minute bell, one of the necromantic bells called Saraneth, the binder, attached.
While Sabriel is not the central character of the sequels, she does still make appearances, but Mogget does make more, he remains a main character in all of them, even having some major moments, not bad for a fluffy white cat.
If you enjoy fantasy at all, especially magic, then I thoroughly recommend this book. It has laughs, sadness, deep emotion, and a large world that draws you in. I really do love these books, and other books that Garth Nix has done. I also doubt this will be the last time I talk about a book. I used to do a lot of reading, then stopped, and now seem to be doing a bit more again, we'll see where life takes me.