* AwesomenessWithdrawal: The books are beloved by those that have read them, but the long gaps in installments prevent the fanbase from being too enthusiastic about the series in general.
* BaseBreakingCharacter: Clariel. Some people love her as one of the few examples of an Asexual in literature and find her realistically flawed and her StartOfDarkness plausible. Other readers find her flaws unsympathetic and frustrating to read. It doesn't help that she's very different from Sabriel and Lirael.
* CompleteMonster: After Kerrigor aka [[spoiler:[[TheEvilPrince Prince Rogirek]]]] became one of the [[OurLichesAreDifferent Greater Dead]], he tricked his half-brother into [[spoiler: helping him murder their mother and their sisters]] in order for Kerrigor to use their blood to shatter the Charter Stones protecting the kingdom from the dead. Defeated and driven deep into death, Kerrigor's actions nevertheless destroyed The Old Kingdom, allowing all manner of TheUndead free access to the world over the next several hundred years, while he waited for the chance to break free. Kidnapping the infant Sabriel, Kerrigor took her deep into death as part of a plot to blackmail her father, The Abhorsen, into freeing him. Years later, he traps The Abhorsen himself in Death and breaks free into the world of the living. He then tries to capture Sabriel and his revived half-brother as part of a plan to shatter the remaining Charter Stones. When this fails after The Abhorsen's [[spoiler:HeroicSacrifice]], Kerrigor re-emerges from Death and leads a massive army of undead across the wall and into a girl's school, killing soldiers and students alike, before devouring Sabriel's FriendlyEnemy, Mogget, alive and finally forcing Sabriel herself into [[spoiler:a MutualKill]]. Obsessed with power and staying alive no matter what the cost to others, Kerrigor is the worst that the realm of the Dead has to offer.
* HeartwarmingInHindsight: In ''Sabriel'', Sabriel wonders at one point if she might find sisters among the Clayr. [[spoiler: She later does find a sister raised among the Clayr: Lirael.]]
* {{Magnificent Bastard}}: Depending on either your opinion of Mogget, or where you are in the series. Mogget does [[CharacterDevelopment get better]], mostly over the course of the third book. But even though Mogget can be quite caustic when he is criticizing the plans and plots of several characters, or griping about his slavery or the incompetency of his keepers, he both does his part when crisis strikes and sometimes does things that are not required of him. [[spoiler: And at the very end, when those who are standing in for the original Seven are just about to falter, Mogget steps in and adds his power to the binding and helps to save the world.]]