It’s like the end of an era: Goldenhand, The Old Kingdom series

As someone who LOVED Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom series as a youth (seriously, Sabriel was my hero), I’m a bit surprised that I don’t really have that many thoughts about Goldenhand. Maybe it’s because I’m older and this read a bit young, but I just wasn’t as into it. The last thirty pages or so felt, well, rushed, for a book of this length and then it ends a bit abruptly. Also, Lirael isn’t really my favorite, although by the end of this I definitely liked her more! The romance between Lirael and Nicholas was kind of cute and they’re both pretty awkward turtles. They were just never a pairing I had a lot of feelings about. And I guess I’m glad we got a bit of Sabriel and Touchstone, even if they really weren’t the focus.

One thing I really did enjoy, though, was the format of short chapters of alternative perspectives. You don’t get that a lot with newer YA fantasy (or at least, not that I’ve been reading!). It kept the pace moving and the timeline linear, and kind of eased me into liking Lirael more.
Overall, this felt like a good conclusion to the series, for me. Not sure if Nix plans on writing more!

This series will go on forever won’t it?: Court of Wings and Ruin

Well, this was another really solid installment in Sarah J. Maas’ series A Court of Thorns and Roses. I definitely enjoyed it (wasn’t quite as surprising as Court of Mist and Fury), although I have some quibbles. I guess spoiler warning, pretty much for the rest of this post.

1. I was super into the first part with Feyre being manipulative in the Spring Court. Yes, I can work with that.

2. TOTALLY not mad that Elain wasn’t really interested in Lucien. Am mad that by the end she seemed to be coming around to this whole ~~mates~~ thing, because girl no, take some time for yourself and cultivate that friendship with Azriel.

3.  LOVE Nesta. LOVE HER. Please let me read 800 pages of her being bitter and emotionally repressed and badass and willing to cut EVERYONE for Elain. I’m so here for it. But . . .

4. WHY MUST EVERYONE PAIR UP? Like, Nesta and Cassian doesn’t make me angry in and of itself, I just hate the trend it further entrenches. But, yay, at least Nesta doesn’t start the book being open to relationships and it takes all 600 goddamn  pages for things to really get started on that front. I am glad, too, that it puts a nail in the coffin of the sad love triangle of Azriel-Mor-Cassian. So, lots to appreciate with Nesta and Cassian, but single people are not the devil, alright? (Also, add another tally to the heterosexual column, which brings me to my next point…)

5. Mor being bi/gay was a nice surprise, although I wasn’t expecting it to have about the same weight as the implied xenophobia of this series. But, I guess they really push the reproduction angle in this society? Like, as long as you push out a kid, fuck whoever else you want? IDK. Just wanna say, though: Thank GOD Mor wasn’t immediately given a girlfriend after telling Feyre. Fingers crossed the next book is less aggressively heterosexual.

6. Rhys dies? And all the high lords brought him back? OH, WHY DOES THAT SOUND SO FAMILIAR??? Like, come on, Maas. You already did that and whatever symmetry/parallelism you were going for wasn’t necessary.

7. I guess I could talk about some plot points, but eh. Lots happened and Feyre feels pretty infallible, as she collects a mirror that drives everyone else mad and makes successful bargains with old gods that terrify people. I’m sure that winning streak is going to start feeling old sooner rather than later.

8. Somehow there’s more to this series and I’m already exhausted.