As someone who’s read Sabriel countless times, it’s going to be very hard for me to discuss this book without spoiling the rest (and the future sequels), but I will do my very best not to. I won’t be answering my own discussion questions as, well, I know what happens. It’d be silly to pretend I don’t.
Anyway, what I want to discuss what we know of (and what I love about) Sabriel after reading through Chapter 10.
Right away, Sabriel is shown to be both unsure in who she is, but also quite competent when it comes right down to it. We see her bringing a child’s pet back to life to spare them the trauma of finding it dead. We see her take charge in a dangerous situation involving a possibly dead thing, and we see her anxious when her father does not show up on time. Sabriel is a creature of multitudes — young and realistic.
I have always loved this about her — she approachable and believable in a way that a lot of YA heroines are not. She’s not described as being particularly beautiful, not described as being ‘different’ than other girls. She has friends, and felt like she belonged in her school. Sabriel is torn out of her ‘place’ by a family emergency and instead of waffling about whether she should go — she immediately does.
I always love the scenes at the Wall — these further help us understand who Sabriel is as a person. We see her urgently, urgently needing to cross to help her father, but she still can’t resist the urge to mess with the soldier that first approaches her. Sabriel is playful at heart, but serious when she needs to be, as we see when she meets Colonel Horyse. Once she does cross the wall, Sabriel realizes how alone she is in a place she doesn’t know or understand, and how much is depending on her to find and get to her father’s house.
When danger hits in the form of Thralk, Sabriel takes charge and doesn’t second guess herself for a moment. It is work of mere minutes (possibly seconds?) for her to bind the dead creature, and send him back to behind the gates. Now, Sabriel is on the run. Something dead is after her — something much bigger and more powerful than Thralk. Something that Sabriel is desperately, desperately afraid of — the Mordicant.
Sabriel is panicking as she runs, not really thinking properly. It is by the skin of her teeth — and the help of a few Charter Sendings — that she manages to get to the Abhorsen’s house safely. Once there, we meet Mogget (another discussion for another day) and we see our heroine refuse to believe that her father is dead, despite all evidence pointing that way. Sabriel is so stubborn at this point — her father is alive, she thinks, and will not hear otherwise. You can’t help but love her for her love for her father.
I’m going to wrap this up here, as I could quite literally go on forever about why Sabriel is one of my favorite characters.
So, my friends that are participating in our Read-A-Long, or perhaps those of you who have already read these books — why do you like (or dislike) Sabriel as a character?