• Abhorsen

  • By: Garth Nix
  • Narrated by: Tim Curry
  • Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (4,397 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Before she went to join Sam and Mogget downstairs, Lirael paused for a moment to look at herself in the tall silver mirror that hung on the wall of her room. The image that faced her bore little resemblance to the Second Assistant Librarian of the Clayr. She saw a warlike and grim young woman, dark hair bound back with a silver cord rather than hanging free to disguise her face. She no longer wore her librarian's waistcoat, and she had a long Nehima at her side rather than a library-issue dagger. But she had kept her library whistle, tucking it into the small pouch at her belt. Though she was many, many leagues from any help the whistle might summon, she felt the need to cling to some small part of her past and her identity.

She had become an Abhorsen, Lirael thought, at least on the outside.

Don't miss books one and two of this trilogy! Sabriel and Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr.
©2003 Garth Nix (P)2003 Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Abhorsen is an excellent denouement for a fantasy that is both literary and popularly accessible. Out loud, the powers of this future classic are intensified, especially through Curry's inspired dramatization." (School Library Journal)
"At once an allegory regarding war and peace and a testament to friendship, this thought-provoking fantasy also resolves the true identities of the popular Dog and Mogget characters and suggests that Nix may still have more tricks up his sleeve." (Publishers Weekly)

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What listeners say about Abhorsen

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A great conclusion to a wonderful series

First off - this is the last book in the trilogy starting with Sabriel, and continues the story from Lireal. While several years passed between the action in Sabriel and Lireal, this book picks up immediately from the cliff-hanger that ended Lireal. What does that mean? You need to listen to the first two books before reading this one - don't try to listen to them out of order!

With that said, this book continues the remarkably good young adult series by Garth Nix, although the books are at least as well suited to an adult audience, especially Abhorsen, the darkest of the lot. Abhorsen revolves around a race to stop an ancient evil from being brought into the world, which sounds like a typical fantasy plotline, but in Nix's hands it is made fresh by his complex world and compelling characters. Tim Curry's reading is excellent, and, if not quite as inventive as the first two books, this provides an exciting and impressive conclusion, in which many mysteries are resolved from the rest of the series.

If you like Philip Pullman, J. K. Rowling's more recent (darker) Harry Potter novels, or George R. R. Martin, you should strongly consider listening to this series.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

splendid

Firstly, the narration was extremely well-done. The only thing that I didn't like very much was Mogget's voice, though this is only a matter of preference, and I cannot fault the narrator for that.
The book itself is very engaging and a good read/listen, though I have to agree with one of the other reviewers about the heroine: she is too whiney and distraught over something she really should have been used to by this point. Being a Remembrancer should be enough for her, especially since she's the only one in the world, but she can't seem to get over not being able to see into the future. This is tiring after a while. Other than that, it's a good story.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Don't Miss This Thrilling Conclusion!

My only complaint is that it has to end!!!

This series is remarkable on so many levels. Garth Nix is a genius at creating rich, fantastic worlds fraught with gritty emotion and thrilling excitement and this final installment in the "Old Kingdom" series does not disappoint!

The characters are engaging, the story is tight, and Tim Curry is perfect.

Don't miss this one!

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Boring

What would have made Abhorsen better?

If it where good? The story was boring the character I did not care about. I just couldn't get into this series. I have over 300 audio books and heard good things about Garth Nix but this series is just not good.

Would you ever listen to anything by Garth Nix again?

I have his keys to the kingdom series and I found that a lot of fun. But this series was just boring.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Dissappointment.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good voice, good story

Tim Curry has a great reading voice. He loses his character's voices a couple times, but overall very good. The story is deep fantasy, with lots of complex, arcane magic; deep, inferred history; and evil necromancers. Story sags just a little near the end, but overall, Highly Recommended.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Love Tim Curry

These are enjoyable stories but Tim Curry's narration make them special.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing!!!

This is an excellent conclusion to the Old Kingdom series as well as a perfect conclusion to the story begun in Lirael. I would suggest reading the two previous books in the series first because this book picks up right where the last one left off. This means that the action begins in the first chapter, keeping your interest until the end. The main characters continue their journey to stop an ancient being from destroying the world. This book is filled with magical fights that would rival those in Harry Potter. You will NOT want to stop listening.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great fun

This is a worthy sequel to Lireal (sp?) which I also enjoyed. This book has a bit more depth. The talking dog and cat still made me roll my eyes a little (is it Disney or Jar-Jar?) but it didn't spoil the story. Plus they are more than they seem, like every other character in this book. The ending was satisfying and worth the two-book wait, although the last couple of pages were a little predictable. I had a hard time putting this one down.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I love the Abhorsen story but...

This book starts very, very slow. Also Nix’s struggle to completely realize a character shows clearly. However, the last quarter of the book takes a sudden (very) dramatic turn. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Abhorsen story and will be going back for more. I just wish Nix would add another 50 pages to his stories so that we can get a clear picture and an ebb/flow of drama.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

An OK book in an OK trilogy

After reading the third book I guess this series is just not my cup of tea. I know I’m in the minority but this series was just OK to me and almost even on the unlikable side. If you liked the first two though I will say this is more of the same so you’ll probably like this as well. I did really like the concept of the world Nix has created in these books but I just don’t think we see enough of it. Whereas some books I really get a picture in my mind of cities, homes, characters and the world as a whole I’m just not seeing it with these books. I also never really felt connected to any of the characters or care what happened to them.

Like the last book, I did enjoy the Disreputable Dog and Mogget way more than any of the human characters. Their dialogue was enjoyable and humorous especially when they were interacting with each other. They were the one bright spot of the book, and maybe if there was a story with those two traveling around having some sort of adventure I’d be interested in this series more but I don’t think I’m going to continue with the prequel novel and the follow up book.

I also didn’t really find the antagonists that scary or feel a sense of dread that something might happen in the story. Chlorr of the Mask was kind of interesting as a third tier villain but that was about it. Hedge and Orranis were just OK but and Nix tried to make them threatening but it just didn’t come across for me. I don’t want to spoil anything but one bright spot was the final battle with Orranis, the eighth and why the eighth did what they did.

Overall just an ok series that I may have enjoyed much more if I had read this when I was younger. I liked the world but I don’t see myself going past the original trilogy.

Once again Tim Curry was as a narrator was just like this book, OK. It was clear, but it wasn’t anything special that got me into the story more.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr
  • 12-23-12

An Incredible Listen

This book is beautifully written, as is always the case with Garth Nix. I did not expect to find an audio version which even began to portray the beauty and depth of his world, but Tim Curry was definitely the right person to chose to do so. If you've read the series, or are simply looking to find out if it's any good, I would definitely suggest listening to this.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • GeraniumCat
  • 07-04-20

Heart-stopping

Abhorsen starts with one of the most heart-stopping moments ever. Anything I say about the plot in this third of the Old Kingdom books inevitably contains spoilers, so I shan't. If you haven't listened to Sabriel and Lirael, then go back and do so first, you won't know what's going on here and you won't have already fallen in love with all the characters. All three are read by Tim Curry and all in all, are pretty much my idea of perfection.

Actually, the ending is pretty heart-stopping too. Unreservedly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris
  • 02-07-19

OUTSTANDING

Great story the whole series is outstanding This is brilliant well narrated and exciting APPLAUSE

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David Connor
  • 10-01-18

That ending...

I have a meeting with HR tomorrow to explain why I am crying at my desk. Nice work Nix!
As good as this story is, in both conception and realisation, it is undoubtedly Tim Curry's spellbinding performance that makes this a must listen.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs H Spurr
  • 02-09-11

Love it!

Having loved the books I got these audio versions and haven't been disappointed! The narrator does a fantastic job and I have had many happy hours listening! Already listened to them all twice! Fantastic!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ian
  • 02-16-09

Awesome

Brilliant climax to a superb trilogy. Moves from the Sameth/Lirael 'discovering their identities' phase to riveting action. Brilliantly read, and wonderful characters. The Disreputable Dog and Mogget are witty and intelligent additions to the blossoming pair of Sameth and Lirael, for whom you find yourself rooting for more and more as the tension mounts. A great pity it had to end.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • wiggiewoo
  • 03-08-07

Great

I couldnt wait to get into the third book of the trilogy. The narration was great and the story lived up to expectations. Excellent overall

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dani Fowles
  • 08-08-22

Re listened 3 times

I love this series and the reading by Tim Curry is just phenomenal. The whole series is worth a listen, great storyline, awesome narration, could not recommend more for anyone who enjoys a fantasy world.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • alexiee26
  • 08-02-22

Tim Curry is a diamond

I can’t tell if I enjoyed the story as it was well written or if Tim Curry just kept me engaged throughout! It was very enjoyable to listen to and to continue the story, though Sam and Lirael are quite childish when you are no longer a teenager yourself! Overall I’d recommend these three, especially if you enjoyed them in the past

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ra-P
  • 06-27-22

Magic.

Tim Curry is an absolute joy. If only he could have continued narrating the series! I have no doubt that I'll be re-listening to books 1-3 many times over.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-14-20

my favourite series EVER

loved it, as per usual although Tim Curry, however brilliant, did a lot of similar voices, sometimes confusing

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alex Southwell
  • 12-13-16

just amazing

narrator was great as usual, amazing story, wonderful characters, I can't recommend this book higher, it is just amazing simply amazing

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jasper G
  • 04-18-21

Excellent read, AMAZING narrator

one of my favourite books of all time, I've read it many times. Love Curry's performance, and personally I find it lovely to fall asleep to. Character voices and expression are all excellent, and very true to the book. I love how he does Mogget

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  • Alison Holding
  • 04-18-21

Love

I remember reading these books so many years ago and I loved them then love them more now

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Suzy Turquoise Blue
  • 02-12-21

Brilliant

What the heck is up with that music at the end? Couldn't hear the last few minutes of the book. Other than that is was amazing. Been over 10 years since I read the series last. Kinda sad now. I had forgotten. Excited to read Clariel now.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nikky
  • 02-23-20

love it!

love this series. I do find that Tim Curry pronounces a few things a bit oddly, but you get used to it. honestly listened to this series 3 or 4 times now ^_^

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kevin
  • 09-14-19

exceptional

loved all 3 books recommended them to fantasy readers as incredible stories and a fantastic reader.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Christine Barr
  • 04-18-18

great great great

for me a book is great when it conjures up emotions, this book did this on spades, brilliantly written and narrated!! *****

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jason
  • 08-11-17

Wonderous

Picking up where Lirael left off, Abhorsen is a wonderfully drawn conclusion to the trilogy. Tim Curry is at his best, bringing the characters to life, and Garth Nix's tale draws us right in. With heaps of magic, necromancy and ghoulish dead, the protagonists must strive hard to survive this epic tale. I personally had trouble getting through Sabriel. It wasn't a book I could read, but Tim brought it to life, and this book is well worth the hours of listening.

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  • R. E. Orkney
  • 03-11-17

spectacular

tim curry did such an amazing job at these three books that I worry about how the next narrator will compare.