starting Abhorsen discussion

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Mon Apr 14 19:31:28 EDT 2003


Using Kyra's post as a jumping-off platform....

>(and my discussion will include all three books, because I didn't get to
>discuss _Sabriel_ and _Lirael_ before)
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>One of the things that dragged me into _Sabriel_ was how fully realized
>the world was, and how different it seemed from other stuff. The
>bells--nifty! Death as a land is something that's been done before, but it
>all just seemed so real. Also, I usually don't do well with scary stories,
>but I don't like it if a story says "and now our characters are in danger!
>yes, they really are," and I'm thinking, "um, no, they're going to be
>fine." With all three books here, I was genuinely worried but happy about
>the scariness.

I agree with both of these points entirely.  The landscape--the concept of
this kind of land that coexists more or less with Death--just fascinated me.
And _Sabriel_ in particular was just creepy enough without being actually
frightening.  It was very enjoyable.

On re-reading _Lirael_ I was more annoyed by the length.  There are at least
two books crammed in there, and while I see the need to present both Sam and
Lirael as fully-developed characters, and the problem this creates when they
are physically separated for most of the book, I still spent a lot of time
trying to figure out how the thing could have been separated properly.  Ugh.

The thing I decided when I finished _Abhorsen_ is that I would like to read
more about these characters, but not in the sense of wanting a sequel.  I
liked the people enough that I wished some of the other things that happened
to them could be told.  And, yes, I would also want to read about their
lives later on, like just how Sabriel and Lirael learn to be sisters, and so
forth.  Or something from the Ancelstierre side of things.  They were good
characters.

Something in the middle of _Lirael_ clued me in to the fact that Nick and
Lirael were going to have some kind of romantic connection.  I think it was
probably the vision she had of him.  That made Nick's death a little
surprising, but it all worked out very well--not a bit contrived, I felt.
(I was going to say that I tumbled to Lirael's parentage early, but it would
be too much like bragging.  :)  And the truth is that I can't remember if I
figured it out the first time--second reading hardly counts--as all I do
remember is thinking "Sam, don't hit on her!  She's your aunt!" at some
point just before they reach the Abhorsen's house.)

And given that _Lirael_ took a lot of slogging through this time, the final
battle of _Abhorsen_ was extremely satisfying.  I really like that there's
never a "damsel in distress" of either sex...even poor Nick does his part
for the cause.  I miss the Dog, though.  My sister probably misses the Dog
even more; she's her favorite character.

Anyway, overall it felt like a satisfying ending--however, I felt the same
way about _Sabriel_.  If Nix ever does set any more books in this world, I
wonder what he would write about?  He sure does the cataclysmic
end-of-the-world thing well....

Melissa Proffitt
(starting to do the "nad and dan" thing with her own name)

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