Cover image for Abhorsen
Nix, Garth.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : [HarperCollins], [2003]

Physical Description:
[358] pages ; 24 cm
Abhorsen-In-Waiting Lirael and Prince Sameth, a Wallmaker, must confront and bind the evil spirit Oranis before it can destroy all life.
Reading Level:
890 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 6.6 16.0 65575.

Reading Counts RC High School 7.1 22 Quiz: 32999 Guided reading level: NR.


Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Mass Market Paperback Popular Materials-Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Fantasy
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Paperback

On Order



The third book and apocalyptic conclusion to the original bestselling Old Kingdom trilogy, perfect for fans of Game of Thrones.

The Abhorsen Sabriel and King Touchstone are missing, leaving only Lirael--newly come into her inheritance as the Abhorsen-in-Waiting--to stop the Destroyer. If Orannis's unspeakable powers are unleashed, it will mean the end of all Life. With only a vision from the Clayr to guide her, and the help of her companions, Sam, the Disreputable Dog, and Mogget, Lirael must search in both Life and Death for some means to defeat the evil destructor--before it is too late.

Don't miss Garth Nix's prequel to the Old Kingdom series, Clariel, and Goldenhand, the fifth book in the Old Kingdom series.

Author Notes

Garth Nix was born in Melbourne, Australia on July 19, 1963. He graduated from the University of Canberra in 1986 and worked various jobs within the publishing industry until 1994. After a stint in public relations, he returned to books and took up writing as a career. He is the author of Blood Ties, Clariel, Newt's Emerald, the Old Kingdom series, The Seventh Tower series, and The Keys to the Kingdom series. In 1999, he received a Golden Duck Award for Australian Contribution to Children's Science Fiction. To Hold the Bridge was named Best Collection by the 2015 Aurealis Awards. His novella, By Frogsled and Lizardback to Outcast Venusian Lepers, was named Best Science Fiction Novella by the 2015 Aurealis Awards. In 2018, he won the 2017 Aurealis Award for the Best science-fiction short story.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 7-12. Although Lirael (2001) begins years after events in Sabriel (1996), Abhorsen picks up right where Lirael left off, as Lirael and Sameth, the son of the Abhorsen Sabriel, continue their battle to contain the long-imprisoned Destroyer. It's a hardscrabble battle against the forces of the dead, which have been assembled by the sinister necromancer Hedge, and once again Disreputable Dog and Mogget (the elemental in the form of a cat), play major roles, as does Sameth's good friend Nick, who is forced into the service of the Destroyer. Lirael, the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, must traverse the dangerous Gates of Death to discover how the Destroyer was defeated in the beginning, so that the process can be repeated in the present. The tension throughout the story is palatable, and despite a solid, satisfying conclusion, Nix leaves himself a bit of room to revisit his intricately designed universe--a course followed by many writers of book sets that are first envisioned as fantasy trilogies. SallyEstes.

Publisher's Weekly Review

PW called this "a riveting continuation of the story begun in Sabriel and Liraed. At once an allegory regarding war and peace and a testament to friendship, this is a thought-provoking fantasy." Ages 12-up. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-Garth Nix's trilogy comes to a dramatic and apocalyptic close (HarperCollins, 2003) with all the clever plot twists and inventive voicings by Tim Curry that made Sabriel and Lirael award winners. The story explores the theme of the perils and promises of technology and, read aloud, the power of this future classic is intensified. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Abhorsen Chapter One A House Besieged There was another fog, far away from the smog of Corvere. Six hundred miles to the north, across the Wall that separated Ancelstierre from the Old Kingdom. The Wall where the Old Kingdom's magic really began and Ancelstierre's modern technology failed. This fog was different from its far-southern cousin. It was not white but the dark grey of a storm cloud, and it was completely unnatural. This fog had been spun from air and Free Magic and was born on a hilltop far from any water. It survived and spread despite the heat of a late-spring afternoon, which should have burned it into nothing. Ignoring sun and light breezes, the fog spread from the hill and rolled south and east, thin tendrils creeping out in advance of the main body. Half a league on from the hill, one of these tendrils separated into a cloud that rose high in the air and crossed the mighty river Ratterlin. Once across, it sank to sit like a toad on the eastern bank, and new fog begun to puff out of it. Soon the two arms of fog shrouded both western and eastern shores of the Ratterlin, though the sun still shone on the river in between. Both river and fog sped at their very different paces towards the Long Cliffs. The river dashed along, getting faster and faster as it headed to the great waterfall, where it would plunge down more than a thousand feet. The fog was slow and threatening. It thickened and rose higher as it rolled on. A few yards before it reached the Long Cliffs, the fog stopped, though it still grew thicker and rose higher, threatening the island that sat in the middle of the river and on the edge of the waterfall. An island with high white walls that enclosed a house and gardens. The fog did not spread across the river, nor lean in too far as it rose. There were unseen defenses that held it back, that kept the sun shining on the white walls, the gardens, and the red-tiled house. The fog was a weapon, but it was only the first move in a battle, only the beginning of a siege. The battle lines were drawn and the House invested. For the whole river-circled isle was Abhorsen's House. Home to the Abhorsen, whose birthright and charge was to maintain the borders of Life and Death. The Abhorsen, who used necromantic bells and Free Magic, but who was neither necromancer nor Free Magic sorcerer. The Abhorsen, who sent any Dead who trespassed in Life back to whence they came. The creator of the fog knew that the Abhorsen was not actually in the House. The Abhorsen and her husband, the King, had been lured across the Wall and would presumably be dealt with there. That was part of her Master's plan, long since laid but only recently begun in earnest. The plan had many parts, in many countries, though the very heart and reason for it lay in the Old Kingdom. War, assassination, and refugees were elements of the plan, all manipulated by a scheming, subtle mind that had waited generations for everything to come to fruition. But as with any plan, there had already been complications and problems. Two of them were in the House. One was a young woman, who had been sent south by the witches who lived in the glacier-clad mountain at the Ratterlin's source. The Clayr, who Saw many futures in the ice, and who would certainly try to twist the present to their own ends. The woman was one of their elite mages, easily identified by the colored waistcoat she wore. A red waistcoat, marking her as a Second Assistant Librarian. The maker of the fog had seen her, black haired and pale skinned, surely no older than twenty, a mere fingernail sliver of an age. She had heard the young woman's name, called out in desperate battle. Lirael. The other complication was better known, and possibly more trouble, though the evidence was conflicting. A young man, hardly more than a boy, curly haired from his father, black eyebrowed from his mother, and tall from both. His name was Sameth, the royal son of King Touchstone and the Abhorsen Sabriel. Prince Sameth was meant to be the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, heir to the powers of The Book of the Dead and the seven bells. But the maker of the fog doubted that now. She was very old, and once she had known a great deal about the strange family and their House in the river. She had fought Sameth barely a night past, and he had not fought like an Abhorsen; even the way he cast his Charter Magic was strange, reminiscent of neither the royal line nor the Abhorsens. Sameth and Lirael were not alone. They were supported by two creatures who appeared to be no more than a small bad-tempered white cat and a large black and tan dog of friendly disposition. Yet both were much more than they seemed, though exactly what they were was another slippery piece of information. Most likely they were Free Magic spirits of some kind, bound in service to the Abhorsen and the Clayr. The cat was known to some degree. His name was Mogget, and there was speculation about him in certain books of lore. The Dog was a different matter. She was new, or so old that any book that told of her was long since dust. The creature in the fog thought the latter. Both the young woman and her hound had come from the Great Library of the Clayr. It was likely both of them, like the Library, had hidden depths and contained unknown powers. Together, these four could be formidable opponents, and they represented a serious threat. But the maker of the fog did not have to fight them directly, nor could she, for the House was too well guarded by both spell and swift water. Her orders were to make sure that they were trapped in the House. The House was to be besieged while matters progressed elsewhere -- until it was too late for Lirael, Sam, and their companions to do anything at all. Abhorsen . Copyright © by Garth Nix. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Abhorsen by Garth Nix All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Prologuep. 1
Part 1

p. 9

1 A House Besiegedp. 11
2 Into the Deepp. 26
3 Amaranth, Rosemary, and Tearsp. 37
4 Breakfast of Ravensp. 51
5 Blow Wind, Come Rain!p. 66
6 The Silver Hemispheresp. 80
7 A Last Requestp. 87
8 The Testing of Samethp. 97
First Interludep. 111
Part 2

p. 115

9 A Dream of Owls and Flying Dogsp. 117
10 Prince Sameth and Hedgep. 124
11 Hidden in the Reedsp. 133
12 The Destroyer in Nicholasp. 145
13 Details from the Disreputable Dogp. 153
14 Flight to the Wallp. 167
15 The Perimeterp. 175
16 A Major's Decisionp. 183
Second Interludep. 193
Part 3

p. 207

17 Coming Home to Ancelstierrep. 209
18 Chlorr of the Maskp. 227
19 A Tin of Sardinesp. 238
20 The Beginning of the Endp. 249
21 Deeper into Deathp. 260
22 Junction Boxes and Southerlingsp. 268
23 Lathal the Abominationp. 278
24 Mogget's Inscrutable Initiativep. 284
25 The Ninth Gatep. 291
26 Sam and the Shadow Handsp. 302
27 When the Lightning Stopsp. 311
28 The Sevenp. 319
29 The Choice of Yraelp. 330
Epiloguep. 338