Abhorsen Sabriel - Garth Nix's "Abhorsen" Trilogy

This lead character is even more obscure than the supporting characters I often choose to cosplay; this trilogy of fantasy novels begins with the tale of a young woman, Sabriel, summoned from school in the technology-based country of Ancelstierre to return to her homeland in the Old Kingdom, where magic still holds great power, to investigate the disappearance of her father.  She is knowledgeable in the ways of Charter Magic - magic which has been codified and sanctioned, that is; worst among the wielders of the twisted ways of Free Magic are the Necromancers, who call up corpses to walk and summon spirits back from the icy afterlife.  A single person, the Abhorsen, is burdened with the task of combating the Necromancers and returning the dead to their graves.  The Abhorsen does this with a set of seven magical bells and a sword inscribed with spells, and Sabriel learns to use these as she gradually takes on the responsibilities of her new role.  The garb of the Abhorsen, aside from the bandolier of silver bells, is a blue surcoat patterned with silver keys.  Although the book describes them as being embroidered, I instead opted to cut a custom stencil and painted over 450 silver keys by hand.

Photo Credit: Bob Barker
Dragon*Con September 2008