For everyone and everything there is a time to die.
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 bones, Lirael seeks help for Nick at her childhood home, the Clayr’s Glacier.
But 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 deliver 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.
I’m going to warn you in advance. Some of this review will be done in Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari) Gifs, and I have no shame. (Also I’m only just figuring this gif thing out – please forgive me if it looks awful), and yes I may just be using this as an excuse to show you my two long term loves. But ssh, don’t tell anyone.
First of all, what Nix probably thinks of himself when he wakes up and before he goes to sleep:
This is honestly my most favourite series of all time. Lirael is the book that got me into reading in the first place and I do a yearly re-read of the entire series. Even just thinking about the series makes me happy. If you haven’t read it yet then please do.
How I feel whenever the prospect of reading this series comes to me:
It seriously just makes me feel so happy. All of my worries leave just thinking about reading this series. And yes I know that this gif doesn’t quite fit, but let’s pretend it does. Okay? Okay. (maybe okay will be our always)
But we’re not here to talk about the series. No, we are here to discuss how great Goldenhand was/is! Although, real quick I’m gonna tell you some truth. It wasn’t my favourite of his work. I think it probably sits with Clariel on my order of favourites of his work. Excellent, but not as good as the original three. (Lirael is at the top.) He truly is a master.
If you are ever considering writing high fantasy such as Game of Thrones or this. Then you need to read this series. It is an excellent demonstration of world building and of developing a ‘realistic’ magic system. It also has centuries of history – which I suppose falls under the world building. He is seriously just a top notch author and I can only dream to one day be close to his level of skill and ability.
Goldenhand was an excellent sequel that was hella exciting, heart-stopping and breathtaking. It was one of my favourite reads this year and I think that I am going to have a hard time finding a book to top it.
The plot was excellent and the characters still as excellent as before. He truly is a master of the character. Also, I really enjoyed how they had all grown up and therefore were wanting more grown-up things. Yes I know that there was only like a six-month gap between Abhorsen and Goldenhand but that is the time that Lirael had needed to settle in to who she is now and could therefore think about more frivolous things. Also Nick is a cutie who deserves the best. They deserve each other.
I was so happy to see The Disreputable Dog and Mogget again. I honestly think that they are what makes this series so great. (aside from all of those things that I mentioned above, of course) I appreciated how everyone recognised Lirael’s grief over losing The Dog as real and as needing to be worked through. I like how they didn’t tell her to just get over it and that they recognised that The Dog was a true friend and Lirael’s first one. Mogget’s just a cutie who I want to feed fish to and sit with. Truly a gift. I just love Mogget so much and so does my mother. He is truly a fan favourite within the family.
Nix’s books have never lacked diversity. And with one new character and one old character becoming/already being disabled he is just adding to the diverseness of his books. The fact that he made both of the amputees women and that neither of them overreacted about it and just took it in their stride is really important. The media portrays women as so emotional and so ready to overreact that I think this counter-balance is really important. It is showing that women aren’t weak and can adjust to things without having huge emotional breakdowns. Nix is just so good at dealing with difficult and important topics within his books. He is just such a wonderful author.
Just real quick, how Nick felt about Lirael for the first part of the book: Thankfully he got over that though, so that they could make out. That was legit the cutest thing ever. Like no joke. I don’t think I have ever been happier about a YA romance in my life. Although I suppose I have been waiting for this one since 2010 so I doubt anything could top it in waiting time. It was just. so. cute. I can’t even.
I honestly cannot wait for the next book in this series. I want to know about the entire world and how the Charter works within it cause it can’t just be The Old Kingdom. That is such a small area for such a diverse form of magic to exist in. I just. want. to. know. more. I have such a strong need for knowledge regarding this entire world. Honestly if I could just sit Nix down and ask him all the questions I want answers to I honestly think that all of my problems would go away.
I seriously cannot wait for the next book in this series, I think I might have to go into a coma until it is released so that I wont have to suffer the real world and the years it might take. I just need it now!!!!
Clearly this book received 5/5 stars and everyone should read it if they haven’t. Although, please, start with Sabriel. It’ll be worth it – trust me.