Review Blog

Jul 06 2015

To hold the bridge by Garth Nix

cover image

Allen & Unwin, 2015. ISBN 9781743316559
(Age: 11+) Highly recommended. Fantasy, Short stories, Survival. When Garth Nix writes another episode of the Old Kingdom series, every reader will take notice, and this novella which is the first story presented in this large collection of his stories will please them all. I read again of the world he imagined and presented so clearly in those books rekindled as Morghan attempts to join the Greenwash Bridge Company. The company has been charged to build a bridge north of the Old Kingdom across islets and rivers separating them form the north. The company takes on a few cadets and Morghan tries out despite his misgivings and disability. But the Bridgemistress senses his ability with the Charter marks and he is welcomed to be trained, finding that one night his abilities must be used for his own survival.
So begins this fine edition, and the next stories are just as engrossing as Nix takes us again into his worlds. Clearly devised settings against which well defined characters strive for survival will thrill all readers.
A story set in today's world of gaming held my attention as The quiet knight defends the new girl and her brother at school. The quiet knight holds that name in his gaming on the weekend at a local woolshed where the owner has built tunnels and mazes along with lowered ceilings and other obstacles for the gamers to enter in costume. Tony lost his voice in an accident years ago, but here he can be what he wants to be, and the reader is gratified when the young woman recognises him outside the game.
Others stand out as well. His take on the Rapunzel story is given in the funny, Unwelcome guest, and another reflecting themes from his inestimable Shade's children is presented in You won't feel a thing. Which ever one is read will engage the reader's brains as things must be worked out, clues gathered and imaginations unleashed as he takes us to all sorts of new and fantastic places.
Fran Knight

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