Sabriel Read-a-Long Part One

Jordyn @ Birdie’s Book Nook decided to start a read-a-long of SABRIEL, the first book in the Old Kingdom series because it’s one of her favorite books. Having never read it myself, I decided to join as I thought it’d be a good way to finally read it. I mean, it’s only been floating around for over 20 years, so better late than never! Since the read-a-long discussion occurs in the blogosphere (or wherever you discuss bookish things), no specific time commitment is required. It looks like Jordyn will post a set of discussion questions each week, the first of which is here.

As I’m on vacation, I don’t have a ton of time to sit down and answer each question, so I picked one to focus on.

Question

We meet Mogget in Chapter Eight. What do you think he is? Is he good, evil, or neither? Why do you think he is forbidden from speaking about the Greater Dead? Is it a device for the author, to drag out the mystery, or do you think there is a in-story reason?

Response

Let me preface this by saying I know absolutely nothing about this series. So I reserve the right to make any prediction or theory that may or may not be true in the end. Now that that’s out of the way…

I think Mogget is neutral, that is, neither good nor bad. I think he might seem good because he is bound to Abhorsen, and so he must help [the] Abhorsen. But I think if Mogget no longer had to serve Abhorsen, he might turn on Abhorsen (Sabriel) if it meant saving his own life in a life or death situation. However, I got the impression that Mogget doesn’t really align himself with the Mordicant or anything akin to it. Then again, that could be because Mogget serves [the] Abhorsen, so his responsibility is to protect Sabriel.

With respect to Mogget’s inability to speak about the Greater Dead, I definitely think there’s a reason. Garth Nix, the author, seems to have given a lot of thought to the magic system and world-building, so I don’t think he decided to keep Mogget from sharing information for no reason. It could be that Mogget is forbidden to speak about the Greater Dead to keep some older and/or more dangerous knowledge from falling into anyone’s hands, good or bad, for people can be easily corrupted.

And that’s my two cents for week one!

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