The long-awaited fifth installment in Garth Nix's New York Times best-selling Old Kingdom series, for listeners who enjoy series by Rae Carson, Kristin Cashore, Scott Westerfeld, and Cassandra Clare.
Goldenhand takes place six months after the events of Abhorsen and follows the novella Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case, which is featured in Across the Wall.
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. On a dangerous journey, Lirael returns to her childhood home, the Clayr's Glacier, where she was once a Second Assistant Librarian. There a young woman from the distant North brings her a message from her long-dead mother, Arielle. It is a warning about the Witch with No Face. But who is the Witch, and what is she planning? Lirael must use her new powers to save the Old Kingdom from this great danger - and it must be forestalled not only in the living world but also in the cold, remorseless river of Death.
©2016 Garth Nix (P)2016 Listening Library
I love this storyine by Garth Nix, and Tim Curry's performance of the original trilogy is stupendous. But Heather Wilds, I'm afraid, was not having a good day. If you're not interested in or even following what you're reading aloud it all sounds the same, with monotonously repeated patterns of intonation that drive the colour out of the story and drive the listener up the wall. Within 5 minutes I'd had enough, I wasn't listening anymore, because she wasn't paying enough attention. Listen to Sabriel - that's how to read these books. Sorry, sounds harsh, but I actually wondered if Siri would be better. I'm off to buy the book. Might as well read it myself.
The story was enjoyable, not as full as the others in this series.
However it was so difficult to listen to. The narration is completely monotone with words randomly stressed all over the place in paragraphs so it was very easy to get distracted or totally miss important parts. I turned the recording off 3 minutes in and attempted to buy the kindle version to not ruin the book for myself. But I have listened to it all now. The narration is bad throughout
Love this entire series, and although Goldenhand isn't the strongest book, it is still a great experience. Developing Lirael further as she progresses as the Abhorsen in waiting, Goldenhand introduces some new characters whilst drawing on the key previous names from the past books in the series.
However, Heather Wilds narration is nothing but bland and awkward and really takes away from the enjoyment. My advice, buy the physical book and read it.
The narrater of the book (Heather Wilds) is not at all good completely ruins the excitement and tension in the book as it is all read in a monotone so the most exciting scenes seem mundane!
I highly recommend this book but suggest you either read it or find a different narrator if you really want to be able to enjoy this wonderful book!
I have been listening to this series since it began (first bought Sabriel on tape), so hearing the next installment is like catching up with old friends. I listen to two YA series from my youth nearly every year, HDM and the Old Kingdom. Goldenhand will not disappoint like-minded fans.
I thought Ferrin was a great addition to the cast, another fiery independent female lead.
Not really. I found her voice too staccato, and unable to differentiate emotions or characters. From the start, it sounded like she was putting on a specific voice for the book, so the narrator's voice sounded inauthentic. There was little of the depth and range displayed by voice actors like Tim Curry, Martin Jarvis, or Lesley Sharp. However, I knew this from the sample and purchased because of the love of this fictional world and the lack of time I have for physically reading a book. At points, I got used to Heather Wilds's style but at others it pulled me out of the story.
I would have liked to have seen more of the older characters, but I am hopeful for the next installment.
I really struggled with this book. Having listened to the first three Old Kingdom books read beautifully by Tim Curry. He really engaged with the characters and the plot. Therefore engaging me. He was always going to be a hard act to follow. Then with the fourth book Clariel the narrator changed to Graeme Malcolm. Whilst he was not in Curry's league he still did an admirable job once I'd gotton used to the changed accents of the well established characters. I can not say the same about Heather Wilds Narration. It was sooooo monotone. I couldn't tell when one sentence began or ended. let alone characters or chapter. I found myself repeating chapter after chapter because I kept zoning out. It was beyond tedious. I gave up after repeating chapter 17 for the umpteenth time and returned the book. Which is a shame. Garth Nix is a great writer and this was a great series for young and old alike. However for me the finale was completely ruined by the narrator. I have very poor eyesight, so my chances of reading the physical book are slim.
This narrator was painful to listen to. It was like listening to a robots impression of what an interesting sentence sounded like and then repeated every sentence. So much so that I missed a lot of the story through sheer irritation at the narrator. Do yourself a favour and skip this. Seriously. The books okay, but read it. If you do feel the need to buy it, listen at 1.8 speed and the algorithms take away her hideous intonation.
Sabriel, Lireal, abhorsen, Clariel and now golden hand. The old Kingdom series is so amazing and it blows me away every time I'm enter it. Garth nix 🙌🏽 10s!
The story is great but the narrator is really awful. She doesn't read ahead to the end of a sentence before saying it out loud so all the emphasis ends up on the wrong words which makes it quite hard to understand what is going on.
"I'm not sure what happened here"
I'm a die-hard fan of the series and listen and read the books probably 15 times a year, but I will NOT be listening to this one again. I've used Audible for almost 8 years now, and this will be my first returned book.
First off, as other reviewers have mentioned, the narrator was abysmal at best. Lack of emotions and enthusiasm, weird and random pauses, and little to no vocal distinctions between characters.
Second, there is no way Garth Nix wrote this. The first three books were amazing and had so much depth that I continue to enjoy them as an adult. Clariel was definitely a bit lagging, but as a pre-qual, it wasn't bad. This? This is an abomination. Either Nix has lost his mind, is stuck in a rut of writing for pre-teens, or he had a ghost-writer. The story was choppy, with no character or plot development, rushed romance, gratuitous appearances from prior characters, random additions of new places and people, and an ending that made me hope there's no more books, because the series has been butchered enough.
I'd love more books with the main characters, but only if we get the mid-90's Nix back!
"Good story! Poor narrator choice."
I enjoyed the story, but not the narrator. She did not bring much to the story in terms of performance. She did not bring characters to life with voice acting.
This one caught me off guard. I've been a huge fan of the Old Kingdom series. This book reads like mediocre tween fan-fiction.
I'm not saying it's a piece of crap. It's just so much worse in contrast to the other ones that it almost feels like.... something between a mix of disappointment and betrayal. I'm being ridiculous though.
Me. Nix is a fine writer. Goldenhand probably needed a heavier editing hand.
"I miss Tim Curry"
The story line is very good. I'm happy this is a continuation right after Abhorsen. I miss Tim Curry reading the book. He really brings the story to life when he tells it.
Lirael is definitely my all time favorite character. I love books with heroines. There are so few female heroines in stories. I especially love how Garth built her attitude.
If Tim Curry was able to perform. The performance was good, but just not Tim's level...
1000 times yes
Thank you for bringing abhorsen series to life. I really enjoy theses books, and I hope they continue.
I have waited so long for this book. It has a little more romance than the other books... which I suppose is okay, but I feel like the battle scenes weren't as epic. It may be because I listened to it rather than read it myself, as I did the first books many years ago. The narration took several hours to get used to. I thought I was going to have to return the book because I just couldn't stand the way she read. I loath the way she portrays the Disreputable Dog's voice. I dearly miss Tim Curry. I wish he could read to me forever!
I liked this series but this book is all over the place and is a very disappointing ending to a five book series. The first three books are narrated by Tim curry and they are so good. This narrator is horrible, like Siri or my car GPS was reading it out loud.
"great story read unenthusiastically."
The story was beautifully written how ever the bland an mono time of the reader made it difficult to fallow the story at times. deffinently not the same talent as Tim Curry, the reader of the first three books in this series.
"Poor choice of narrator"
The narrator sounds like she's reading, not narrating. Furthermore, if Tim Curry had already done such a good job in creating the voice personalities we fans came to love, why change narrator? At least it should have been a man to continue the same tone. Miss Wilds sounds weak, sleepy and makes the characters bland and "princess- like". Only reason I am not returning this book is because it IS a good book and I love the author's work
"Narration a bit wooden, but the story's still good"
This book was perhaps not as strong as Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen (I've not yet read Clariel), and felt a bit more like an episode from life in the Old Kingdom than part of a larger take, but it was still good. Having now read it I wish I had read Clariel first - there's a spoiler for that story contained in this one. Garth Nix does the horror well, but the romance is a bit clunky. In some cases though, it kind of added to the awkwardness and romantic naivety of the characters.
Love the author. The narrator would have gotten one more star except she kept pronouncing the 't' in filet. I couldn't get past it
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