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The Left-Handed Booksellers of London Hardcover – September 22, 2020

4.4 out of 5 stars 3,661 ratings

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From the Publisher

quiz, epic reads, nix

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Newly turned 18, aspiring artist Susan Arkshaw leaves home to attend college in London and to research her father's identity. Chronically dreamy and detached, Susan's mother Jassmine has always been tight-lipped about the matter. However, while visiting a family "friend" in London, Susan witnesses his death and joins a mysterious young man in flight from supernatural Old World creatures. Soon realizing that some Power is determined to stop her from solving the puzzle of her heritage, Susan gives in to the "weirdness" and teams up with her left-handed escape partner Merlin and his right-handed sister Vivien to find some answers. With the help of the siblings' clandestine Bookseller organization, the trio embark on a quest for information that will take them across 1980s England and through a few very odd in-between spaces. A tribute to England-its myths, bookstores, and people-and a celebration of writers and stories in general, this is the fantasy novel equivalent of a cozy blanket and a cup of tea on a cold day: comforting and much needed. The story is full of wry humor such as jokes about how children's authors ("a dangerous bunch!") cause the Booksellers trouble by sharing stories steeped in truth. The novel is also a great example of Nix's love for varied characters. Susan is described as muscular and wiry with a punk aesthetic and a shaved head with the stubble dyed blond. In contrast, fair-haired and delicate Merlin is perfectly comfortable sporting dresses or trousers. Other members of the Booksellers organization are represented by various ages, races, and gender expressions. VERDICT This book promises to charm veteran Nix readers and welcome new fans into the fold. Recommended for school and public libraries.-Lara Goldstein, Forsyth County P.L., NCα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

"The worldbuilding is exquisite—the broad, immersive world and the specific rules for types of booksellers maintain a sense of discovery, and Susan and Merlin, the heroic protagonists, have vibrant, entertaining personalities (and a realistic romantic storyline). Readers will beg for more adventures in this London."
  —
Kirkus Reviews

"[An] immersive fantasy. Nix builds meta mentions [and] marries fey elements and spectacular bookshops with booksellers who wield mystical artifacts, cold steel, and magic. Unflappable Susan and wonderfully costumed, magically gender-fluid Merlin make for a fantasy that genre fans, teen or adult, won’t want to miss." — Publishers Weekly

"Nix wastes no time getting to the action, throwing readers headlong into the splendid new world alongside the bewildered but determined heroine. It’s an incredibly diverse, detailed, and . . .  Nix puts in enough twists to make it his own. A remarkable romp through a fantastical new world." — Booklist

"Nix’s latest offers a thrill-packed fantasy adventure. Strong world building is clearly informed by a deep knowledge of local mythologies, and the allusions, literary shoutouts, and pseudo-historical references become a game for the clued-in reader. Overall, this is a fresh, engaging fantasy with an old-school, nostalgic vibe." — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

"As in his high-fantasy novels, Nix puts a strong, capable, and resourceful young woman front and center within a diverse cast [with] tropes from British spy stories. A thrilling, suspenseful romp with lots of humor and romantic tension; we haven’t seen the last of Susan and Merlin." — The Horn Book

A fantastic journey. Fans of Garth Nix's works should enjoy this exhilarating volume. Action, light romance and otherworldly machinations keep the tension flowing as Nix reveals a warm-hearted and clever fantasy. Readers will almost certainly leave this magical London searching for hints of the Old World peeking through our own. — Shelf Awareness

"A warm, whimsical delight—The Left-Handed Booksellers of London is a witty, clever adventure in an exquisitely detailed world you will love escaping into." — Veronica Roth, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Divergent series, Carve the Mark series, The End and Other Beginnings, and Chosen Ones

“This is my favorite kind of tale, one where the magic and the real nest together like pages in a book. A delightful read.” — V.E. Schwab, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of the Shades of Magic series and the Monsters of Verity series

 "A compelling magical romp, both familiar and inventive. These bookshops would be worth visiting at any time—but they feel like a special treat while I can’t set foot in a real one." — Molly Templeton, Tor.com

Praise for ANGEL MAGE: “A unique magical system based on angel summoning and icons, deft characterization—including male and female protagonists and LGBTQ representation—and an affectionate rendering of Dumas’s style will delight teen and adult fans of swashbuckling romance.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Nix’s complex system of angelic magic, and the toll it takes, is fascinating, and he weaves an exciting adventure full of intrigue and action while portraying women in power in a refreshingly casual way. An original and gripping adventure.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“The vivid characters . . . jump off the pages. Their growing relationships steal the show. But there are plenty of embellishments that enhance the more personal aspects of the story. And kudos to fantasy stalwart Nix for a story with gender and racial equality.” — Booklist (starred review)

"A character-driven fantasy that still stays true its adventure roots [with] thoughtful, complex world building. Well-wrought differences in the character and voice of those teens . . . add nuance and depth to their racial diversity . . . [and] play on gendered expectations. Overall, this is a captivating and memorable tale that will please longstanding Nix fans and other lovers of intelligently written fantasy." — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

"With their complementary personalities and easy affection, the four friends are an endearing, sibling-like group; Liliath makes a fascinating antagonist. In addition to its fantastical elements, Nix’s setting is characterized by wel­come gender equality, orientation inclusivity, and racial diversity." — Horn Book Magazine

Praise for Goldenhand:  “A masterfully spun tale well worth the years long wait.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Fans will cheer this latest volumetightly paced with a satisfying resolution, capable and relatable female characters, plenty of action, and reappearances by beloved characters-and fervently hope for more to come.” — Horn Book Magazine

“Nix has included strong female characters and a no-nonsense approach to sexuality. Recommended for high school libraries and for readers looking for fantasy with a historical literary flair.” — School Library Journal

“There is no joy like returning to the Old Kingdom. Once again, Nix sets the standard for fantasy, bringing us a tale full of old friends and new enemies, gruesome monsters, and heroines of wit, will, and imagination.” — Leigh Bardugo, New York Times bestselling author of Six of Crows and The Grisha Trilogy  

“Goldenhand reaffirms why Nix is a master of the genre: his exquisitely detailed world-building is unparalleled, and his characters are so tremendously alive and compelling that.” — Sarah J. Maas, author of the best-selling Throne of Glass series

“Garth Nix is one of the best worldbuilders in fantasy, and this book is merely further proof. I love the Old Kingdom series, and Goldenhand is an excellent continuation, packed with the excitement and passion of a storytelling virtuoso at the height of his abilities.” — Brandon Sanderson, New York Times bestselling author of the Mistborn trilogy, Warbreaker, The Alloy of Law, The Way of Kings, Rithmatist, and Steelheart.

Praise for CLARIEL:
 “Between striking characters-from the heroic if not entirely competent young Abhorsen-in-Waiting, Belatiel, to the enigmatic, catlike Mogget-and Nix’s brilliantly complex magic system, this superb tale is exactly the book fans of the series have been awaiting.” —
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Themes of freedom and destiny underpin Clariel’s harrowing, bittersweet story, and readers will delight in the telling (and in fan favorite Mogget’s return).” — Booklist (starred review)

“Clariel is a deeply sympathetic character faced with complicated choices, the consequences of which are frighteningly uncertain as she is pulled between the wild Free Magic and the disciplined Charter.” — School Library Journal (starred review)

“Nix’s tale provides a complete experience unto itself. But his focus on this strong character whose overriding passion is to go her own way provides a hugely satisfying background to the other Abhorsen books. A suspenseful prequel to the much-loved Abhorsen books, showcasing the independent Clariel.” — Shelf Awareness (starred review)

Praise for SABRIEL:  “Sabriel is a winner, a fantasy that reads like realism. Here is a world with the same solidity and four dimensional authority as our own, created with invention, clarity, and intelligence. I congratulate Garth Nix. And I look forward to reading his next piece of work.” — Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials trilogy

Praise for LIRAEL:  “What makes Lirael a delight is the magic that Nix brings to his story and to his characters.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Riveting.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Praise for ABHORSEN:  “Breathtaking, bittersweet, and utterly unforgettable.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“At once an allegory regarding war and peace and a testament to friendship, this is thought-provoking fantasy.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A swashbuckling adventure with lashings of swordplay, dastardly intrigue, and the most original magic I’ve seen in years.” — Joe Abercrombie, bestselling author of the First Law Trilogy

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Katherine Tegen Books (September 22, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 416 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 006268325X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0062683250
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 14 - 17 years
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 9 - 12
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.05 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 1.29 x 8.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 3,661 ratings

About the author

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Garth Nix has worked as a bookseller, book sales representative, publicist, editor, marketing consultant and literary agent. He also spent five years as a part-time soldier in the Australian Army Reserve. A full-time writer since 2001, more than five million copies of his books have been sold around the world and his work has been translated into 40 languages. Garth's books have appeared on the bestseller lists of The New York Times, Publishers Weekly (US), The Bookseller(UK), The Australian and The Sunday Times (UK). He lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife and two children.

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
3,661 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

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Fintan15
4.0 out of 5 stars American spelling
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Lawrence E. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on October 2, 2020
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Nick Johns
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic - in both hands!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 29, 2020
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Ben
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M. Crane
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book
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