Goldenhand (Abhorsen #5) By: Garth Nix
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 love this world.
After reading Clariel I meant to go back and read the first three but I didn’t get around to it before reading Goldenhand, because of that I think it took me a little while to remember certain things about the characters. It’s been close to ten years since I read them though.
It was like returning to old friends once I got there. Everyone makes an appearance and the story was building up to be as epic as the last. I told my husband when I had less than a hundred pages to read that the book was going to be a cliffhanger because I couldn’t see it reaching a satisfying conclusion in time. I was sure that’s what was going to happen and I was kind of excited, but then everything was neatly wrapped up. It was disappointing and felt rushed. Everyone was paired up and allusions to the future were made and then the end.
I don’t know if Nix is just tired of writing Old Kingdom books or was under deadline or what, but I wanted more. Kind of sad. I’m still rating it four out of five because the rest of the book was awesome, it was just the ending that left me dissatisfied.