Author: Garth Nix
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Released: 4th October 2016
Goldenhand helps to expand further on the original trilogy. All is relatively quiet since the events of Abhorsen. Sabriel and Touchstone take a well-earned holiday, and Abhorsen-in-waiting Lirael is left in charge to deal with any free magic threats.
A message from Nicholas Sayre, warning of a free magic creature in Ancelstierre, brings Lirael south of the wall that separates the two kingdoms. Meanwhile, a nomad called Ferin must flee the lands north of the Old Kingdom to deliver a message to Lirael, warning of the threat of the witch with no face.
Goldenhand is an entertaining read. Garth Nix once again delivers a magical engaging story with well-formed characters. Lirael has developed from the shy girl working in a library, to a more confident Charter Mage and Abhorsen-in-waiting. There is a love story bringing Lirael and Nick together, but it does not feel forced. Moreover, there is no love triangle, which is a trope used too much in young adult novels. Goldenhand continues to redefine gender in fantasy. Lirael is a strong female character, who can look after herself and is always ready to run towards dangerous places to fulfil her duties.
Goldenhand has all the essential ingredients of a fast-paced fantasy novel. It is full of magic, adventure, plot twists and interesting characters. The writing is easy to read, with good world building when the story requires it. Goldenhand flows from beginning to end, to the extent that I struggled to pull myself away from reading it. A word of warning, the narrative does jump between characters every chapter, but I still understood how the stories of Ferin and Lirael were related.
All in all, Goldenhand is an engaging magical read.
Rating: 4/5 Stars