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Goldenhand by Garth Nix
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sigh... so this is my problem with ALL of this series. I LOVE the world and the world building. I love the characters.

but all the endings feel rushed and unsatisfying. I got my hopes up with this one because it draws together a lot of great threads... ( )
  ansate | Mar 13, 2017 |
It’s been a long time coming but author Garth Nix returns to his Old Kingdom series with Goldenhand, the fifth in the series. Sabriel is the Abhorsen and Lirael, no longer a librarian, is the Abhorsen-in-waiting. Although Sabriel is present here, this is Lirael’s story. The Kingdom is threatened by a deadly threat – Chlorr of the Mask may be dead but her spirit has refused to pass the Ninth gate and the final death. Instead, she is sending the Dead to destroy the Kingdom. The only way to defeat her is to find her spirit and send it through the Gate but for anyone to do so likely means their own death. At the same time, Ferin, a young Nomad from the Steppes, is making a dangerous trek to find Lirael with a message for her from her long-dead mother concerning Chlorr, how she might be destroyed and whether Lirael can survive the encounter.

The story alternates between Lirael and Ferin and, although this is Lirael’s tale, Ferin is a strong addition to the series. The book also expands our knowledge of the Kingdom. I am a huge fan of Nix who is one of those writers whose books, although aimed at a YA audience, appeal to all ages and this one is no exception. That is not to say that I had no problems with the book although many of those result from a comparison to earlier books in the series. Lirael shows a great deal of growth in this story and certainly a romance with Nick is not surprising. However, her musings about him, often at critical times, seemed distracting – in fairness this is not a problem limited to this book but seems to be a trend in YA literature and perhaps it is more a problem of my inner curmudgeon than the story itself. My only other serious criticism is that, unlike earlier books in the series, there is not much action in the first half of the book. What there is is mainly limited to Ferin’s story and it was a case of plenty of build-up, tension, and then a too quick resolution.

Still, the last part of the book helped to make up for these problems and Nix is such a strong writer that they did little to interfere with my enjoyment of the story. The characters and the writing are engrossing, the story is compelling, and there are even some cameos by some of my (and I suspect most reader’s) favourite characters from earlier novels including the Disreputable Dog and Mogget. Although most of the many disparate storylines are resolved by the end of he book, it does end on a bit of a cliffhanger which, hopefully, means more installments of the Abhorsen series. It should be noted that, although Goldenhand could be read as a standalone, I highly recommend that, if you haven’t already, you read all the earlier books of the series – trust me, if you are a fan of very well-written YA fantasy, you will not be disappointed.

4.5 ( )
  lostinalibrary | Jan 21, 2017 |
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To Anna, Thomas, and Edward,
and to all my family and friends
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In the Sixth Precinct, the inexorable current of the river that flowed through Death slowed almost to a stop.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061561584, Hardcover)

The long-awaited fifth installment in Garth Nix’s New York Times bestselling Old Kingdom series, for readers who enjoy series by Rae Carson, Kristin Cashore, Scott Westerfeld, and Cassandra Clare.

Goldenhand takes place six months after the events of Abhorsen and follows the novella Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case, which is featured in Across the Wall.

Lirael lost one of her hands in the binding of Orannis, but now she has a new hand, one of gilded steel and Charter Magic. On a dangerous journey, Lirael returns to her childhood home, the Clayr’s Glacier, where she was once a Second Assistant Librarian. There, a young woman from the distant North brings her a message from her long-dead mother, Arielle. It is a warning about the Witch with No Face. But who is the Witch, and what is she planning? Lirael must use her new powers to save the Old Kingdom from this great danger—and it must be forestalled not only in the living world but also in the cold, remorseless river of Death.

(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 07 May 2016 15:30:04 -0400)

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