May 22, 2019 by TinyNavajo
Goldenhand (Abhorsen, #5) by Garth Nix, narrated by Heather Wilds
♦ ♦ ♦ ◊ ◊
*Published October 11, 2016*
The fifth in the Abhorsen series (I skipped the fourth book, I just wanted to read more about Lirael), and I was interested to see what was going on after Lirael had bound the Destroyer in the last book.
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.
Honestly, this was my least favorite of the Abhorsen books. There was a different narrator, not Tim Curry, and it felt as though it was hurriedly completed and rushed. The story was going extremely fast and nowhere at the same time. I did like it, but it was more for the characters that I enjoyed the story than the story itself.
Lirael has grown more confident in herself, she has learned more about herself and her new family. She has grown in her powers as an Abhorsen as well. She has also acknowledged that she has feelings for Nicholas Sayre, the unknowing accomplice to the Destroyer in Abhorsen. But there’s very little time for these feelings to be explored as Chlorr of the Mask has decided that she is going to invade and to finally kill her, Lirael and Nick need to travel past the Old Kingdom in order to finally destroy her physical body.
The characters are what made this story for me, rather than the story itself. I still love the magic and world-building, but it didn’t pull me in as much as the first three books in the series did. What do you think of books where you read for the characters rather than the story? Do you continue to read them or do you move on to another book? Comment below and let me know!