Title: The Old Kingdom Series
Author: Garth Nix
Summary: Death and those not quite Dead have had free run of the Old Kingdom for the last 200 years. The return of Sabriel starts a chain of event that will put Death where it belongs - beyond the Ninth Gate.
What was Good: Mr. Nix balances the fantasical elements with modern world. Necromancers enter through the aid of simple bells. Being magical, however, they have a will of their own and don't always act as the user intends. Magic has a place as character in this fantasy trilogy. Mogget, in the role of "all-knowing" also acts as comic relief and occasionally usurps the starring role. The interaction between the magical world and the politics of the ordinary draws parallels between any two political parties. Really, there is something for everyone in the trilogy.
What wasn't: Sabriel is a stand alone novel. Lirael and Abhorsen are one novel split into two books. The ending of Lirael didn't feel like the end of a book, but the end of a chapter and the last half was missing.
The Take-Away: A friend from my writer's club introduced this author to me and I wish I had listened to her sooner. She was right; I did love them.
Recommendation: Get Sabriel and read it first. If time is short, wait until Lirael and Abhorsen can be read together.