Bell & Sword: A Sabriel Read-along

Posted 10 May, 2014 by Rinn in Buddy Read / 7 Comments

Bell and Sword
“Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker?”

When my lovely friend Paola, one of The Duchesses and also my fellow Queen of Ferelden, told me about her plans for a Sabriel read-along in May I knew I would HAVE to join. Ever since I read the trilogy it has been one of my favourite series ever – a perfect blend of fantasy and familiarity, with a highly original concept.

From today, 10th May, until 31st May, Paola will be hosting a read-along of Sabriel by Garth Nix. The Duchesses blog will feature regularly scheduled posts, which I will also be joining in on, as well as some more spontaneous ones (in the words of Duchess Paola, expect shenanigans). Here is what she has planned:

  • May 10th: Read-Along Kickoff at The Duchesses
  • May 17th: Discussion #1 (Prologue – Chapter 10)
  • May 24th: Discussion #2 (Chapter 11 – 20)
  • May 31st: Discussion #3 (Chapter 21 – Epilogue)

I too will be posting on these days, with my thoughts on the book! It will be interesting to re-read an old favourite and take a different ‘eye’ to it.


Sabriel by Garth Nix

Sabriel by Garth Nix
Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him. She soon finds companions in Mogget, a cat whose aloof manner barely conceals its malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage long imprisoned by magic, now free in body but still trapped by painful memories. As the three travel deep into the Old Kingdom, threats mount on all sides. And every step brings them closer to a battle that will pit them against the true forces of life and death—and bring Sabriel face-to-face with her own destiny.



First published 30th September 1996 by Harper Collins, Sabriel is the first book in a series known as ‘Abhorsen’ or ‘The Old Kingdom’. The other books include Lirael, published 29th April 2001, Abhorsen, published 1st January 2003, and Clariel, which will be published on 14th October 2014. The series also includes a short story published for World Book Day in 2005, entitled The Creature in the Case.


Lirael by Garth Nix Abhorsen by Garth Nix Clariel by Garth Nix

Why am I joining the read-along?

I think I was possibly nine or ten years old when I first read Sabriel, and it had me in its grasp from the very beginning. An amazing heroine? Check. A talking cat? Check. A unique magic system? Check. I felt sorry for all the people who lived in Ancelstierre, who knew nothing of the Old Kingdom and believed all that could be found there was evil. WRONG! So much magic and history. Although I don’t seem to have remembered quite as much as Paola (who can tell you the names of all the bells that Sabriel uses!), I remember the feeling that the book gave me – and it has remained a firm favourite ever since. It is most definitely time for a re-read.


Are you a fan of Sabriel, or are you thinking of reading it for the first time?

If you are interested in joining, you can read more information in Paola’s original post.

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7 responses to “Bell & Sword: A Sabriel Read-along

  1. The Queens of Ferelden reading Sabriel together… this is too much awesome for one month haha!! Thanks again for joining, Rinn! I do know all the names of the bells by heart, AND in order. Because nerd. And I’m seriously looking forward to discussing with everyone! Is it time for Clariel yet?? (Hope you don’t mind me answering this question I saw in the comment above mine, btw!)

    Paola @ The Duchesses recently posted: Bell & Sword: A Sabriel Read-Along
    • *world explodes*

      Thank you for hosting, Paola 😀 I had plans to re-read the series in January as part of the Re-read January event I co-hosted. But I was a bit of a rubbish host and only re-read one book that month 🙁

      And of course not, I wanted to know the answer myself and I’m so glad you’ll be doing read-alongs for all of them 😀

      And umm… I want to draw Touchstone as a ship now. Where are my art skills?

    • Yes, apparently so! 😀 There are several books coming out at the time that I’m going to want physical copies of, but will only be able to get the ebook D:

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