Goldenhand by Garth Nix

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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