The Left-Handed Booksellers of London
Author(s): Garth Nix
A girl’s quest to find her father leads her to an extended family of magical fighting booksellers who police the mythical Old World of England when it intrudes on the modern world. From the bestselling master of teen fantasy, Garth Nix.
In a slightly alternate London in 1983, Susan Arkshaw is looking for her father, a man she has never met. Crime boss Frank Thringley might be able to help her, but Susan doesn’t get time to ask Frank any questions before he is turned to dust by the prick of a silver hatpin in the hands of the outrageously attractive Merlin.
Merlin is a young left-handed bookseller (one of the fighting ones), who with the right-handed booksellers (the intellectual ones), are an extended family of magical beings who police the mythic and legendary Old World when it intrudes on the modern world, in addition to running several bookshops.
Susan’s search for her father begins with her mother’s possibly misremembered or misspelt surnames, a reading room ticket, and a silver cigarette case engraved with something that might be a coat of arms.
Merlin has a quest of his own, to find the Old World entity who used ordinary criminals to kill his mother. As he and his sister, the right-handed bookseller Vivien, tread in the path of a botched or covered-up police investigation from years past, they find this quest strangely overlaps with Susan’s. Who or what was her father? Susan, Merlin, and Vivien must find out, as the Old World erupts dangerously into the New.
"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."
"[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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
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.
"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."
“This is my favorite kind of tale, one where the magic and the real nest together like pages in a book. A delightful read.”
"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."
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.”