Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Goldenhand (Abhorsen, #5)” as Want to Read:
Goldenhand (Abhorsen, #5)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Abhorsen #5)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  14,584 ratings  ·  1,614 reviews
Lirael knows the blood that runs in her veins and her true powers. She also knows that Chlorr of the Mask has been conspiring with the clans of the steppe, from a message she’s received from her long-dead mother, Arielle.

But no one else believes that nomads can be a real threat. Accompanied by Nicholas Sayre and a young mountain nomad, Lirael goes on a dangerous journey a
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published October 11th 2016 by HarperCollins
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Goldenhand, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Niria Sabriel first. Clariel, whilst being a prequel, still doesn't offer a view and explanation of events like Sabriel, not to mention it can be considered…moreSabriel first. Clariel, whilst being a prequel, still doesn't offer a view and explanation of events like Sabriel, not to mention it can be considered kind of separate from the main storyline. Perhaps read the main trilogy first; the prequel will have more to offer as a result.(less)
Melody October 11th! Having waited since 2003 for this--not that we knew it was even a real possibility back then, but I *needed* more about Lirael and Nick-…moreOctober 11th! Having waited since 2003 for this--not that we knew it was even a real possibility back then, but I *needed* more about Lirael and Nick--you'd think I'd be able to handle 7 more months. But no, here I am with zero chill. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  14,584 ratings  ·  1,614 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Goldenhand (Abhorsen, #5)
Brandon Sanderson
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing

(Note: For an explanation of my Goodreads policy, please see here.)

Anyone who hasn’t read Sabriel , the beginning of the Old Kingdom books by Garth Nix, is missing out. I consider reading it, during the years I was trying to break in, to be one of the fundamental experiences that helped me shape my philosophy on magic systems and worldbuilding.

Needless to say, I love the magic and worldbuilding of these books—though perhaps someday I’ll do a review of Sabriel itself, and delve into
Kayde Zimmerle
Oct 05, 2016 rated it liked it
I have very mixed feelings about Goldenhand. First things first, Sabriel is my favorite book and has been since I first read it in middle school. I am now 28, and I have reread Sabriel and the original Old Kingdom Trilogy more times than I can count. I was somewhat disappointed with Clariel, but was excited to hear that we would be revisiting the Old Kingdom and our beloved characters in Goldenhand. My expectations were high, but tempered with my "meh" feelings toward Clariel.

The Good: We get to
Charlotte May
“For everyone and everything there is a time to die.”

3.5 stars.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading the Old Kingdom series - though I must admit this last instalment didn’t blow me away as some of the others did.
It was enjoyable, and I loved that all our favourite characters are back, Lirael, Sabriel, Touchstone, Sam as well as some new faces.

It took a while for the plot to start, it involved a free magic creature accidentally brought alive by Nicholas Sayre and Lirael’s removal of said creature
3.5 stars.

I wanted to love this. I really really did. I mean, I've been obsessed with this series since I was 12, and I'm now 33. And I think in part, that was WHY I didn't love it. Don't get me wrong, I basically lost my shit when I saw there was a new Old Kingdom book coming out. But I think I had SUCH HIGH EXPECTATIONS for it that this could never actually meet them.

What I wanted was Lirael/Nick, lots of encounters with the dead, and plenty of fun times with characters that I've known and l
December 2016: I have so much thoughts right now. So I will ask myself questions and then answer them. (This is a good way to trick yourself into writing things when you don't know what to write about.)

First, is this a worthy successor to the original Abhorsen trilogy (which is one of my favorite fantasy series)? Yes. Is it everything I wanted from a sequel? No. Did I even know what I wanted from it? Weeeeelll, yes and no. Is it a perfect book? No. Ultimately, does it matter that it isn't perfec
Lauren Kammerdiener


May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, read_2018, fantasy
Goldenhand is a continuation of the Old Kingdom lore popularised in Sabriel. It’s a unique fantasy setting which delves into the land of the dead to traverse the living; a great concept consistently maintained throughout the series.

Building on the structure of the series to date, author Garth Nix expands his fictional world to introduce new key characters (Ferin), and harsh landscapes (there’s an oxygen starved canyon) which gives the series a deeper feel and paves the way for future stories cen
Joey Woolfardis
A few years ago I re-read the Old Kingdom trilogy after forgetting almost all of it from my younger years. I was mildly disappointed to say the least, but presumably that was merely from growing up. Clariel, the prequel to that trilogy came and went without so much of a ripple and that world seemed too far away for me to care any more.

Goldenhand takes place almost directly after the Old Kingdom ends, once again following Lirael and her family. When you first pick this up you feel the familiarity
Eric Allen
Dec 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is VASTLY better than Clariel. Clariel was very flat and unsympathetic as a character, in my opinion. She rarely did anything but whine and complain about generally everything around her, and she acted in a manner that I find very hard to like, very flippant, and often mean spirited toward others, and she was very selfish and self-involved, rarely caring at all about other people except to comment on how annoying she found their interruptions into her inner emo monologue. Without a dec ...more
Oct 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
There are so many interesting directions this book could have taken and instead, the author decided to shoe horn an unlikely romance into Lirael's life because apparently she can only find happiness if she has a man?

Major Spoilers Ahead:
(view spoiler)
*Popsugar challenge #31: A book with “gold,” “silver,” or “bronze” in the title.*


The first few steps in Death were often the most important, the test to see who was stronger, Abhorsen or river.

This book follows immediately after the novella"The Creature in the Case". Lirael finds Nick on the Wall and they set out together back to the Old Kingdom. Nick's situation is quite complicated because he contains Free Magic in his body and is sealed -for now- by Charter Magic, so Lirael thinks it i
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A warning: spoilers!

I should like to say that this series is dear to me and it holds a deep and special place in my heart. Nix does a number of things with Goldenhand well, not least of all juggling multiple strong characters together in a single scene (looking at the map room scenes here). To continue, though, I think of this book as The Great Extended Epilogue.

So much of the pacing was strange. Ferin's chapters were very serious--even somber at times--and high action, life or death stuff. Lira
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
So, uh...I'll have a review up in a couple days.

For now, I'll just say this: please read this book asap.
Nemo (The ☾Moonlight☾ Library)
Sep 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-read
First of all, I had absolutely NO IDEA that the ebook I was given to review from Edelweiss was only a partial copy of the book. There was no warning anywhere – I had to stumble over an announcement made on Goodreads from Nix himself saying it was only a partial review copy before the rage in me simmered down from what I believed was a cliffhanger ending and an unwrapped up plot. I was HOPPING MAD that Nix could betray a trusted reader like that, and I am so glad I was wrong, but it still colours ...more
May 22, 2022 rated it really liked it
A really good follow up if you wanted to see more of these characters. It's pretty bold not to introduce a main plot until 3/4ths of the way through but if you like slightly disjointed Old Kingdom stories (yes) and your twelve year old self was waiting for Nick and Lirael to get together (also yes) then it won't feel like its missing. Not quite the perfection of the original trilogy wrapped in nostalgia for me but I still very much enjoyed it. Can we get an Ellimere story next in this time line? ...more
Carrie Mansfield
I'm disappointed. I absolutely loved Clariel and had high hopes for the true sequel to Abhorsen.

What we got was the first *half* of a sequel to Abhorsen. Very little actually happens - quite literally the majority of the story is the travel of the main characters of each major story - and absolutely nothing has been resolved.

I can't help but wonder if because this is being marketed as YA that they chose to divide this book into two instead of just writing the 700-800 page book that the story so
I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Also posted on my blog, Rinn Reads.

And here it is at last, my long overdue review of Goldenhand by Garth Nix. I started reading this as soon as it landed on my doormat, and read it in two days – back in October. Sadly, due to my preparations for Sci-Fi Month, and the fact that sometimes I take FOREVER to get my thoughts together, it has taken me this long to write my review up.

I first read Sabriel, the
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I hate to say it but Garth Nix should have stopped after Clariel. It's the curse of the last book in that it was just not as good as previous works in the series.
OK, the world-building was still great, the magic system still innovative and the writing very good. But, I think Goldenhand could have been better.
There were so many threads in this one which took a while to come together. And actually I had inklings all along about how the novel was going to build up to its climax.
Ferin's pov chapter
Oct 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This marks a return to form after the disappointing Clariel. It also marks a return to the story of Lirael, Remembrancer and Abhorsen-in-waiting, picking up during the events of the novella, The Creature in the Case. We also get a new protagonist in the form of Ferin, a girl from one of the far northern tribes, beyond the Old Kingdom's power. It's a ripping yarn and I gobbled it down.

For over 3/4 of the book I thought it was just setting up for a sequel, then, abruptly, I realised it was going t
Nemo (The ☾Moonlight☾ Library)
This review was originally posted on The Moonlight Library

This is the second review I'm writing for Goldenhand. I was supplied with a review copy from Edelweiss in 2016, but only found out it was half the book when I checked Nix's website for a quiet announcement. I purchased a physical copy because I have and love the rest of the series, but I ended up borrowing the audiobook from my local library to finish this book.

Nix's writing is beautiful and en pointe as usual. He has an uncanny knack for
Mary Lewis
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it

That's what I predicted I would say. I wasn't completely wrong, because I do love this universe so much, but I do have a few words. Namely, I am so here for pretty much everything that happened in this book. I do agree with whoever said it was too neat -- it was tied up just a little bit too neatly for my taste. That said, I still loved what we got. Break my heart, why don't you, Garth Nix.

I think most of what I'm feeling right now is "I could h
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
A mixed bag. The story felt a bit too neat and tidy, and I felt that some of the characters felt a bit... I don't know diminished? Simplified? than they are in the earlier books. Some of the cameos felt a bit forced too, with the exception of one in particular which was phenomenally powerful and central to the story. The world building was a wonderful and vivid extension to the Old Kingdom, and despite my misgiving about the story it does give the sense that the events are happenings in a world ...more
Melissa McShane
Dec 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
My daughter and I skipped past Clariel on the grounds that it was a prequel and we wanted to know what happened to Nick Sayre. This book reprises the events of "Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case" without being tedious and then slips into a dual narrative that eventually joins together. Since Lirael and Nick's journey is pretty placid, it's just as well we have the more action-oriented storyline of a desperate race to bring Lirael's mother's last message to her.

Except I was so entranced
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-read, 2019
If you haven't read this series and you like YA fantasy with female protagonists, what are you doing with your life? ...more
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
OfFERINg something suggest a sacrifice, the will and courage in doing so... But sometimes it is not necessary anyway. Yet a story can not be untold unless otherwise the writer wrote it and the reader read it. But the fact still remains that some characters are needed yet they are not the one you want to read.

Anyway, it's a good book, not necessarily great, not as intense as Sabriel, not as lovable as Lirael, not as one of a kind as Abhorsen, and not as out of place as Clariel.

Though, it is writ

Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: smashing, 2020
5 MILLION STARS ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Aug 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, old-kingdom
As I would expect from one of Garth Nix's Old Kingdom novels Goldenhand is chockful of suspense, bravery and fortitude. What I didn't see coming were the inklings of young love, not once but twice, but what I did hope for were resolutions of threads that had been left slightly hanging from previous books in the series, and in this I was not disappointed.

If in the end I was disappointed it was in the actual execution of those resolutions, which felt a bit perfunctory in the last few chapters. Thi
Amanda ☕ Steeping Stories ☕
If Garth Nix only wrote this sequel to get Lirael and Nick to exchange saliva, he should've left it to the fanfic writers.

Reasons to read this sequel:
✨ Lirael and Nick being cute and flustered near each other
✨ a giant worm intimidating Nick
proof that some of the Clayr are lesbians and most of them "mix and match" shflsfjlsjlk
✨ more delightful details to the world and magic system
Nix finally writes a POC character into this series!!!! (but like... not well)
✨ Nick: "oh fierce librarians, huh?
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Last Graduate (The Scholomance, #2)
  • Paladin's Hope (The Saint of Steel, #3)
  • Cold
  • Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #2)
  • Winterkeep (Graceling Realm, #4)
  • The Lights Go Out in Lychford (Lychford, #4)
  • A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking
  • Wishyouwas
  • Path of the Black Lotus
  • Cytonic (Skyward, #3)
  • A Deadly Education (The Scholomance #1)
  • Redbark (The Phoenix Feather #2)
  • Wandering Witch (Manga) 03 (Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina #3)
  • Fledglings (The Phoenix Feather #1)
  • The Phoenix Feather III: Firebolt
  • Penric and the Shaman (Penric and Desdemona, #2)
  • Paladin's Strength (The Saint of Steel, #2)
  • Luminous (Everheart Dean Series, #1)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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.


Other books in the series

Abhorsen (6 books)
  • Sabriel (Abhorsen,  #1)
  • Lirael (Abhorsen, #2)
  • Abhorsen (Abhorsen, #3)
  • Clariel (Abhorsen, #4)
  • Terciel and Elinor (The Old Kingdom, #6)

Related Articles

As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
82 likes · 21 comments
“Oh, fierce librarians, then? Tell you to shush and that sort of thing?” 7 likes
“It is always important to look beyond a pleasant visage.” 7 likes
More quotes…