by Garth Nix

{ 2003 | HarperCollins | 518 pgs }

One of my fascinations with fantasy literature is the variety of interpretations of how magic works.

— Time out. That was maybe one of the nerdiest sentences I have ever written.

Anyway, at the risk of sounding ridiculous, I do think it’s interesting how different authors conceptualize the existence and use of magic. And Nix has a very unique approach (at least among the fantasy books I’ve read). Abhorsen is the third in a trilogy, the first two books being Sabriel and Lirael. It’s been a while since I read either, and I don’t think Nix did an adequate job of getting the reader up to speed. True, some of that may be my fault, for not remembering the plot in much detail. But I do feel that the author should give his readers a little something to go on.

I do remember that I loved Lirael. I thought it was phenomenal. Abhorsen, in my opinion, is inferior. Much like the Hunger Games trilogy, the second book builds on the first beautifully, but the third leaves something to be desired. Of course, Abhorsen completes the story, so if you’re interested in tying up the loose ends of Lirael, then you’ll definitely need to read the entire trilogy – but for now, I’d suggest you enjoy the first two books.

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P.S. After I read Sabriel, I suddenly realized that an old friend had recommended the series to me (as simply “the Abhorsen trilogy”) many years ago. I really do appreciate the recommendation.