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To Hold the Bridge

(Abhorsen)

by
3.81  ·  Rating details ·  2,355 ratings  ·  352 reviews
Far to the north of the magical Old Kingdom, the Greenwash Bridge Company has been building a bridge for almost a hundred years. It is not an easy task, for many dangers threaten the bridge builders, from nomad raiders to Free Magic sorcerers. Despite the danger, Morghan wants nothing more than to join the Bridge Company as a cadet. But the company takes only the best, the ...more
Paperback, 487 pages
Published May 27th 2015 by Allen & Unwin
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James While many of Garth Nix's books can be read as stand alone, I recommend start with Sabriel, Liriel and Abhorsen in that order. They are fabulous books…moreWhile many of Garth Nix's books can be read as stand alone, I recommend start with Sabriel, Liriel and Abhorsen in that order. They are fabulous books and you won't regret reading them. (less)
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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,355 ratings  ·  352 reviews


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Natasa
Oct 30, 2014 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
When I first saw this, I thought it was a sequel to the Abhorsen trilogy, finally... and then I read the description.

Janday
Everything about this collection is amazing. It's like Garth Nix just decided to publish all of his fan fiction about the science fiction and fantasy classics that influenced him (and about his own work). There's a Hellboy story, a John Carter story, and a Sherlock Holmes story (sort of)--I might have fallen out of my bed when I read that one--to say the least. It's obvious that Nix enjoyed writing and compiling this collection.

The title story confirms my suspicions since reading Lirael: that
...more
Nemo (The Moonlight Library)
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sts, 2015-read
I’ve been trying to figure out how to review this book for a while now. Do I talk about each short story separately, can I rate them individually? While it pleases my analytical mind to do so, I decided against doing that because this collection is offered in a bound book and therefore should be treated as such. But in doing so, because of the diversity in terms of narrative, stories and characters, I can’t do my normal in-depth review.

So instead I’ll talk about the collection as a whole.

Garth N
...more
Wealhtheow
Dec 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of short stories, every one of them imaginative and interesting. Nix has a true talent for innovative worldbuilding, and any one of these short stories holds the seeds and hints of a complex and fascinating context that surrounds it. A few of them relate to other book series by Nix, but generally they're tantalizing glimpses that I would love to see fleshed out further.

"To Hold the Bridge"--Morghan's ramshackle parents left him just one thing of value: a share in the Worshipful Comp
...more
Ashley
For a short story collection, this was pretty great. Garth Nix's imagination can be a wonderful place, but also a scary one. Ugh, he is so creepy sometimes. The highlight was the first story, a novella set in the Old Kingdom from his Abhorsen series, which is one of my favorites. But there were also a couple of stories in here I loved, and would like to see more stories set in their respective worlds. Short reviews of each of the stories can be found in my status updates.
Andrea
Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-read, own
I enjoyed the various stories in here. I definitely wouldn't have kept them straight if it wasn't for the different narrators! They helped break up each story so I knew when one was over for sure. My favorites was the Old Kingdom novella and Holly & Iron.

I enjoyed seeing all the vampire stories in this anthology too. Nix clearly has a talent for story telling and it shows with the various topics and genres each story encompasses. I think I would've enjoyed this more had I read it since I di
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K.
A collection of Nix's short stories, most of which are fantasy or paranormal based, but with a smattering of sci-fi thrown in for good measure.

Look, as is always the case with Garth Nix, the writing was compelling, and the characters were mostly intriguing. The problem here for me was that it's a very hard sell to do epic fantasy in short story form. You not only have to introduce the characters and the plot, but you have to create an entire magic system or build a whole fantasy world in about
...more
Hackmops
So much fun! I initially picked To Hold the Bridge up because of the eponymous Old Kingdom novella but ended up enjoying almost all of the other stories.

Garth Nix is extremely gifted at varied world-building and he also has a knack for quickly establishing characters that draw you in and also fit into their respective worlds. He is also excellent at creating compelling female characters and is the first male author I think of when looking for examples of well-written teen girls.

This collection
...more
Jackie
Oct 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
I'll admit, I was mostly excited about this collection due to the Old Kingdom novella included in it, because the Old Kingdom series is one of my favourites- every year since I first read the series, I re-read it, and it never loses its magic and wonder and adventure for me. This tale, the titular "To Hold the Bridge" was interesting and fun, and it was nice to return to the Charter. However, I found that I really loved the other short stories, particularly "Vampire Weather," "A Handful of Ashes ...more
Stephanie
   I read this to get another Old Kingdom story. What I got was SO much more…

   While this anthology starts out with a solid addition to the Old World tales (with a rather average protagonist, on top of that!), the variety of fantasy and science-fiction tales that follows easily overshadows it. Their breadth and diversity, their unique reinterpretations of the usual supernatural creatures and legends (for example, vampires and Arthurian legends), of coming-of-age tales and old war stories, of tw
...more
Audrey
This is a collection of short stories and novelettes by Garth Nix that cover the whole spectrum of speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, steampunk, etc.). I liked most of them; a couple were okay or a little confusing; a few were excellent. The writing overall is exceptional.

The audiobook has six or so different narrators. The stories include fan fiction for Hellboy, John Carter, and Sherlock Holmes.
Jenny Jo Weir
19 short stories total of which I didn't care for maybe 5 of them.

I liked: The diversity and creativity of most of the stories.

I didn't like: That once I got into a story, it was over and a new one started.

I guess I'm just used to being able to follow a story through all the way and I like getting invested in the characters, but just as I began to do so with most of these, it would end and a new one would begin.

Still, if you are in the mood for diversity and want to check out multiple short s
...more
Spencer Borup
*UPDATE* I'm raising my 4 stars to a full 5. This is one of the greatest short story collections I've ever read. So fun—and the audiobook's narrators are excellent! A few stories toward the end kind of taper off the excitement for me, but not nearly enough for me to not recommend this book to everyone! *UPDATE FINISHED*

Any review of a Garth Nix work should begin with explaining that he is a master of imaginative, full, unique, fascinating world-building. His characters always seem to be doing of
...more
Regan
Sep 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
OK, so if your question is "how many Garth Nix books is too many to read in a row" the answer is apparently "SEVEN."

I actually remember having Nix-exhaustion after reading his Keys to the Kingdom series, which is also seven books. Also, I've discovered that I like Nix as a novelist, I'm not sold on Nix as a short story writer. I'm NEVER as engaged by his short stories as I am by his novels, not even close. So, yeah, I'm ending this journey with a "meh" although the first three Abhorsen novels a
...more
Marshall T
The titular story "To Hold the Bridge" was good...the others were so so. A lot of the stories finished as soon as they were actually getting interesting or good; I would have liked to have them either connect to books or have them be longer themselves.
Shanti
GARTH NIX IS AMAZING. Those of you who know me or follow my blog will be aware of this opinion. I want to write short stories like he can. I've encountered a couple of these in other short story collections, but overall they were amazing. I particularly liked the ones about witches and technomancy and of course the actual story To Hold the Bridge was excellent. a thoroughly entertaining, overall amazing read, and it was fun to see some other story universes explored (some of these concepts serio ...more
Glenn
What I loved about this was how Nix consistently (but not frequently) adds to the Old Kingdom world. I like that he's been taking his time because each story or book that comes out is a little precious nugget. Il the other short stories were so enjoyable for me that I wish he would turn some of them into books!
Steve
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this was a great book i would highly recommend it ,it was fun and exciting it kept you on your toes ,and you always want to know whats going to happen next. it was thrilling and it stimulated your imagination.
Daniel Shellenbarger
A collection of short stories, To Hold the Bridge includes the 2nd best thing that Garth Nix ever wrote, namely the eponymous short story, "To Hold The Bridge," which is a one-off novella set in the Old Kingdom of the Abhorsen books. That story follows a young man who seeks his fortune by joining a company with the unenviable task of building a bridge that will survive the many natural and unnatural dangers of the Old Kingdom. It's a shame that it's only 50ish pages long because this is a fantas ...more
Zeke Gonzalez
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In To Hold the Bridge, Garth Nix paints vibrant pictures of alternate worlds and the varied characters and monsters that inhabit them. There are mysterious aliens, violent unicorns, science fiction vampires (as well as classic ones), ancient spirits and Gods, nuclear dragons, guardian angels, and a host of other fantastical landscapes and beings. Most importantly, Nix doesn't simply tell us about these places and the creatures that inhabit them, he immerses us in their stories and shares with us ...more
Eli Claire
I liked this short story collection much more than the last one, but it still took me quite a while to finish. I was glad that the stories were separated into genres, and that the Old Kingdom story at the beginning was long (though I wish I could have been longer)!
Kiersten
See more of my reviews at We Live and Breathe Books

Thanks to HarperCollins for the review copy!

I was pleasantly surprised when I came home from school to a package saying I was selected to read To Hold the Bridge early for the Epic Reads early reader program (I can't find any information on it anymore, but it was a thing.). Unfortunately, since I'm not really a fan of short stories, it was hard for me to get through this one - I just find that I lose momentum and don't feel the need to keep read
...more
I'mogén
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My actual rating is a high 3.5 stars.

Be warned, this will be a loooong review!
I didn't really know how to review this so I thought I'd include brief thoughts on each of the stories.
I was really intrigued to read this book, purely for the short story based on The Old Kingdom & was excited to see how Garth Nix writes in other genres, however I was a little intimidated by the size of the book. It took me around 14 days to read, but I'll go into my experience near the end.

To Hold the Bridge- I
...more
BAYA Librarian
In many collections, short stories may follow such similar plot lines that they bore readers. But Nix’s stories vary from magical schools and zombie queens to military battles and silly tales told from unexpected perspectives. Not every story will be to a particular reader’s tastes, but the ones that are will linger with them and leave them wanting more of the characters, the world, or just making them smile at Nix’s cleverness. In all these stories the characters are the driving force and reade ...more
Samantha
I was tricked into reading a book of short stories! I got this out for the Old Kingdom "novella" of the title. I like seeing other pieces of the Old Kingdom, but 50 pages wasn't much of a novella. there were nearly 20 other short stories in there. nothing makes me put a book back on the shelf faster than seeing "short stories" - even if it's an author I love. "oooh, a new margaret atwood! oh...short stories. never mind." I do make exceptions, of course.

anyway, the "novella" was good. a little s
...more
Sky
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gosh this was a good collection of stories. Out of 19 in the book, there's literally only a single one I didn't enjoy immensely! I'm extremely impressed and had a grand time reading this.

I had to keep reminding myself that Nix is Australian - he switches narrative voices with ease, and his war (...sci-fi war?) pieces were spot-on for American writers of the same genre.

I just tried to pick some favorites to list, but then I liked so many that I couldn't pick just a few. I want to read more of his
...more
Kelly
I only read the short story from the Old Kingdom, which is what I wanted :p. And right now, all I had time for.
I'm sure this entire book has a higher rating. I already know Nix is a phenomenal writer and an amazing world builder, so I don't have to tell you that. Most readers of this collection are Nix veterans. We know he's great.
I really wish this had more Old Kingdom stuff in it, though.. -_- Especially considering it's on the cover. We've been waiting so patiently for more of Lirael's story
...more
Ian
Jul 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like most collections of short stories, this one varies in quality, but you can always count on Garth Nix to tell a good story well. Sometimes the story is told in a particular world that Nix has created in his longer fiction, as is the case with “To Hold the Bridge,” set in the Old Kingdom world of Sabriel. In other cases Nix is exploring a particular premise, as he does in “Infestation,” where vampirism is the result of a stray alien nano-tech weapon, and the true vampire hunters are the reme ...more
Lee Penney
I’m a big fan of Nix’s Old Kingdom series, but haven’t read any of his other works. This is sold on the back of that world but only contains one story relating to it, the rest are a series of unrelated, self-contained shorts.

As with any compilation, some are better than others. There’s plenty of fantasy, featuring everything from knights to vampires to Hellboy. There are even some science fiction stories too (John Carter gets a mention).

Truth be told, I was a little disappointed there weren’t mo
...more
Katie
Jun 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh to be a tapeworm and nuzzle into Garth Nix's brain. That would be a fine, fine life. Nix is one of the most exciting minds writing today, and To Hold the Bridge was only disappointing in that I desperately want nearly all the stories developed into full length novels (OH HOW I WISH THAT).

For those familiar with Nix's oeuvre, you'll be pleased to see stories set in the Old Kingdom, the delightfully bleak realm of Shade's Children, and even Confusion of Princes. Then there's homages to Hellboy
...more
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Garth Nix was born in 1963 in Melbourne, Australia, to the sound of the Salvation Army band outside playing 'Hail the Conquering Hero Comes' or possibly 'Roll Out the Barrel'. Garth left Melbourne at an early age for Canberra (the federal capital) and stayed there till he was nineteen, when he left to drive around the UK in a beat-up Austin with a boot full of books and a Silver-Reed typewriter.

De
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Other books in the series

Abhorsen (5 books)
  • Sabriel (Abhorsen,  #1)
  • Lirael (Abhorsen, #2)
  • Abhorsen (Abhorsen, #3)
  • Clariel (Abhorsen, #4)
  • Goldenhand (Abhorsen, #5)
“And I've never been wicked,' said the Witch firmly. 'Least, not by my measure. Just independant-minded.'

'Wickedness depends on where you're standing, doesn't it?' said Jenny.”
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“Bravery is about overcoming fear, not about not having it.” 1 likes
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