In Goldenhand, Garth Nix takes us back to the Old Kingdom, shortly after the events of Abhorsen (published in 2003) and immediately after the events of Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case (2005), and reunites the reader with many familiar characters, including Lirael, Nick, Sabriel, Touchstone and their children. Even Mogget makes a brief but hilarious appearance. It also introduces the wonderful character of Ferin, a nomad girl on a desperate mission to pass on a message which could mean life or death of the entire Kingdom.

In the ongoing battle against the forces of the dead, the stakes rise even higher. But this book also gives the readers an alternative resolution to Nix’s last Old Kingdom book, Clariel. It’s a more satisfying book, much more akin to the original trilogy and effortlessly recaptures the romance, adventure and wonder of the Old Kingdom. Lirael is, as always, an engaging and interesting protagonist and her ongoing relationship with Nick is sweet and subtly drawn. Ferin adds a new dimension of adventure, a tough and determined girl who overcomes so much. It’s fantastic to see so many marvellous female characters throughout this book – from the Abhorsen and Abhorsen-in-waiting, to the Clayr, the guards and the Borderers – of all ages, experience and abilities.

Culminating in a dual story of personal quest and epic battle, Goldenhand doesn’t let up for a moment and doesn’t disappoint.