Happy Sabriel Day, everyone! Sabriel has been out in the world for 20 YEARS today. How amazing is that?! I wish I had a cool story about how I discovered Sabriel, but unfortunately, I can’t remember how it first got into my hands. All I know is that I’ve been rereading it for as long as I can remember. I do have a clear memory of how one time, I wanted to reread the series, so I was at the library trying to find them (this was before I wisely chose to buy my own set) and I had Lirael and Abhorsen but couldn’t find a copy of Sabriel anywhere on the shelf even though the catalog said it was there. I remember how I was freaking out because I had to read the series RIGHT THEN or I would CLEARLY DIE. But then a librarian found it and all was right in the world.
I’ve been thinking about why I keep coming back to this story. It’s not just that it’s a great story, which it is. I mean, what’s not to like about a heroine who fights the dead using a set of bells alongside a cat who’s not really a cat? And it’s not just the richly-drawn world with its creepy dead creatures and terrifying stakes. I think the real reason I fall in love with this book again and again is because of Sabriel.
We talk about badass heroines a lot these days because readers want more awesome ladies, damn it! What I love about Sabriel is that she’s badass without being showy about it. She’s a fighter, but her power comes from musical instruments, not weapons. She’s the only one for the job, but she wasn’t destined for it. She’s one of a kind but not the only hope for the world. Sabriel stands out from the typical fantasy heroine tropes. She takes up the responsibility of being the Abhorsen without complaint. She knows what she has to do, and faces what seem like insurmountable odds head-on. She’s hope, inspiration, and guidance all at once to the people she meets.
I love this book with my whole heart and I know I’ll be reading it for 20 more years. If you haven’t read it yet, WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?!