Garth Nix

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Garth Nix

Lirael is no longer a shy Second Assistant Librarian. She is the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, with dead creatures to battle and Free Magic entities to bind. She’s also a Remembrancer, wielder of the Dark Mirror.

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. When Lirael finds Nicholas Sayre lying unconscious after being attacked by a hideous Free Magic creature, she uses her powers to save him. But Nicholas is deeply tainted with Free Magic. Fearing it will escape the Charter mark that seals it within his flesh and bone, Lirael seeks help for Nick at her childhood home, the Clayr’s Glacier.

Even as Lirael and Nick return to the Clayr, a young woman from the distant north braves the elements and many enemies in a desperate attempt to bring a message to Lirael from her long-dead mother, Arielle. Ferin brings a dire warning about the Witch With No Face. But who is the Witch, and what is she planning?

Once more a great danger threatens the Old Kingdom, and it must be forestalled not only in the living world, but also in the cold, remorseless river of Death.


When it was announced that Garth Nix’s excellent Old Kingdom series would be continuing after a lengthy hiatus, fans were overjoyed to learn that there was not only a prequel in the works, but a sequel too. Goldenhand is that sequel, the fifth book in what was originally a trilogy. It introduces us to old characters and new, while immersing readers in a darkly thrilling world of death and magic.

Lirael fans will be pleased to learn that our favourite Second Assistant Librarian (now Abhorsen/Remembrancer) is back. With Sabriel on a much-needed holiday, Lirael is forced to face the Old Kingdom’s undead creatures on her own. While she’s answering one such call, Lirael comes across her old friend Nick, as well as a nefarious Free-Magic creature. After binding the creature, Lirael decides to take Nick to her old home in the Clayr glacier to see if something can be done about the Free Magic running amok in his system.

At the same time, a young tribe member named Ferin is on the run from the terrifying Witch With No Face and her sorcerous minions. Ferin has a message for the Clayr, and will stop at nothing to get there, but how can one girl hope to outrun the collected might of the Free Magic tribes?

Goldenhand is definitely one for the fans – if you haven’t read the previous books in the series, you’ll need to before picking up this latest entry. And even if you have read the others, a re-read is a good idea because the worlds Nix crafts are so intricate that you won’t want to miss even the smallest of details.

If you have a fantasy reader at home aged 12 and up, this is one of the must-read series to introduce them to.

Holly Harper works as a bookseller at Readings Kids.

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