Overview (No Spoilers): Goldenhand by Garth Nix is a continuation of the Old Kingdom/Abhorsen series, e.g., Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen. This is yet another series that Kari introduced me to during graduate school and is a realm I always enjoy diving back into. Goldenhand is filled with many of the characters we have come to love in Nix’s previous novels, Lirael, Sabriel, Sameth, and of course Mogget the white cat, along side the introduction of delightful new characters such as the tribeswoman, Ferin. A large majority of the storyline involves the maturation of Lirael as she struggles to resolve her past as a second librarian and her new position as an Abhorsen-in-Waiting, especially as she travels, for the first time, back to the Clayr’s Glacier. I felt as though far too much effort was spent on Lirael in contrast to the rest of storyline, as a result the imminent danger seemed to only play second fiddle. This tale also takes the reader to the North, and the tribes beyond the wall where Chlorr of the Mask has been plotting with the native tribes to conquer against Sabriel. Overall, Goldenhand wasn’t my favorite of the Abhorsen series, however it was thoroughly enjoyable to step back into the Old Kingdom world, especially many old questions were resolved, for example: Why did Lirael’s mother leave? And what happens to Chlorr? I highly recommend reading the previous novels in the series if you’re debating on picking up Goldenhand!
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- The scene where Lirael travels back in time to visit her mother in the cave was absolutely heartbreaking. Be prepared for all of the tears!
- When Lirael opens her gift from the Librarians of the Clayr was another heartwarming moment where she realized that the people that raised her are actually proud of her and she is part of them, whereas previously she had felt alienated.
- The relationship brewing between Lirael and Nicholas was entertaining and highly comical at times.
- If the Disreputable Dog could come back to save Lirael why can’t he come back permanently?
- Ferin’s personality was so much fun, especially seeing it put Sameth ill at ease. Her storyline was refreshing where Sabriel and Touchstone’s were stale.