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To Hold the Bridge
Cover of To Hold the Bridge
To Hold the Bridge
Tales from the Old Kingdom and Beyond
by Garth Nix

An entertaining short-story collection from bestselling fantasy author Garth Nix, including an Old Kingdom novella, a short story set in the same world as Shade's Children, and another story set in the world of A Confusion of Princes.

Garth Nix is renowned for his legendary fantasy works, but To Hold the Bridge showcases his versatility as the collection offers nineteen short stories from every genre of literature including science fiction, paranormal, realistic fiction, mystery, and adventure. Whether writing about vampires, detectives, ancient spirits, or odd jobs, Garth Nix's ability to pull his readers into new worlds is extraordinary.

An entertaining short-story collection from bestselling fantasy author Garth Nix, including an Old Kingdom novella, a short story set in the same world as Shade's Children, and another story set in the world of A Confusion of Princes.

Garth Nix is renowned for his legendary fantasy works, but To Hold the Bridge showcases his versatility as the collection offers nineteen short stories from every genre of literature including science fiction, paranormal, realistic fiction, mystery, and adventure. Whether writing about vampires, detectives, ancient spirits, or odd jobs, Garth Nix's ability to pull his readers into new worlds is extraordinary.

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Levels-
  • ATOS:
    7.1
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    MG+
  • Text Difficulty:
    6

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About the Author-
  • Garth Nix is a New York Times bestselling novelist and has been a full-time writer since 2001, but has also worked as a literary agent, marketing consultant, book editor, book publicist, book sales representative, bookseller, and as a part-time soldier in the Australian Army Reserve.

    Garth's many books include the Old Kingdom fantasy series, beginning with Sabriel and continuing to Goldenhand; the sci-fi novels Shade's Children and A Confusion of Princes; the Regency romance with magic Newt's Emerald; and novels for children including The Ragwitch, the Seventh Tower series, the Keys to the Kingdom series, and Frogkisser!, which is now in development as a feature film with Fox Animation/Blue Sky Studios. Garth has written numerous short stories, some of which are collected in Across the Wall and To Hold the Bridge. He has also cowritten several children's book series with Sean Williams, including TroubleTwisters and Have Sword, Will Travel.

    More than six million copies of his books have been sold around the world and his work has been translated into forty-two languages. You can find him online at www.garthnix.com.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 13, 2015
    The title novella, set in Nix’s Old Kingdom, is the gem of this collection of 19 stories, all previously published in recent years. It concerns Morghan, a penniless young man determined to win a job as a cadet for the Bridge Company, a corporation dedicated to the construction of a gigantic bridge. To do so, Morghan must demonstrate his talents with both weapons and magic. Later, he will find himself in the midst of a deadly nighttime assault on the Bridge by the evil Dead. In Vampire Weather, a boy living in a quasi-Amish community must defend himself from the charms of a pretty girl in cahoots with the monsters of the title. A Handful of Ashes describes an attack against a Harry Potter–like boarding school, and The Heart of the City concerns yet another attack, this one on a magical, early-17th-century Paris. Invariably well-written and featuring engaging characters throughout, these stories are all a pleasure to read, though a few are somewhat rushed. Even so, Nix’s fans will treasure this collection. Ages 13–up. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Jill Grinberg Literary Management.

  • AudioFile Magazine Nineteen short stories cover a variety of genres, including horror, science fiction, and fantasy. The title story is set in the Old Kingdom, which will be familiar to Nix's listeners, with the rest of the stories taking place in various times and settings. To accommodate such a diverse group of stories, this audiobook has 10 narrators, with each narrator delivering a complete story. The arrangement allows each narrator to set the tone of his or her story. Every narration features a unique voice and is performed with accents that fit the particular work. For example, the witches, vampires, and cadets of The Worshipful Company of the Greenwash & Field Market Bridge are all given voices that fit their characters. Each narrator is a good fit for the stories he or she delivers, and the totality of the narration results in a captivating collection. E.N. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
  • Kirkus

    April 1, 2015
    A collection of short speculative fiction showcases a hugely popular author. Nineteen previously published fantasy, horror, and science-fiction stories are here grouped loosely by theme and united by deft characterization and virtuoso worldbuilding. Their tones range from creepy dread to grisly violence to poignant heartbreak to wry humor (sometimes within the same tale!), and they exhibit Nix's favorite tropes: absent or abusive parents, found families, conflict and combat, sacrifice for the greater good, and the dangerous fluidity between animate and inanimate, the living and the dead. Unusually for this author, almost all the protagonists are male, and many are middle-aged or elderly. Three stories (the most noteworthy being the title novella) stand as prequels to earlier novels, and another three explicitly borrow iconic characters from other genre writers; while clever and occasionally moving, these will probably work best for readers already familiar with the sources. The independent tales, while still drawing liberally from pop culture and pulp literature, take fresh vitality from their atmospheric subtleties, unique twists, or striking characters-most memorably the bully-defying role-playing gamer in "The Quiet Knight"; the downtrodden yet determined student witches in "A Handful of Ashes"; and the broken, weary occultist in the dreamlike "Ambrose and the Ancient Spirits of East and West." Not a necessary purchase, but a tasty buffet for Nix fans and a comprehensive sampler for new readers. (Fantasy/horror/science-fiction short stories. 12 & up)

  • School Library Journal

    May 1, 2015

    Gr 9 Up-In this excellent collection with crossover appeal, Nix truly displays his storytelling chops. He begins with an Old Kingdom novella that lends the collection its name, in which a penniless youth takes his place as a cadet in the The Worshipful Company of the Greenwash & Field Market Bridge. Nix also includes stories set in the worlds of his Shade's Children (1997) and A Confusion of Princes (2012, both HarperCollins). Other familiar names appear here, including Holmes, John Carter of Mars, and even Hellboy. Many of these tales reside in the murky borderlands between fantasy and horror while others embrace science fiction tropes. There are deadly serious stories and others that are offbeat. One entire section is devoted to coming-of-age tales that feature characters as diverse as a shy LARPer to two young ladies working their way through a college for witches. Another highlights tales of conflict including Nix's take on the sword in the stone and Richelieu-era Paris. Nix's talents for characterization, description, and plotting render each story in this work a pleasure to read. VERDICT Readers of speculative fiction, whether teens or adults, should find much to enjoy in this collection.-Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from June 15, 2015

    Australian author Nix shows off his mastery of the short form with this diverse collection. The stories range from his popular "Old Kingdom" series ("To Hold the Bridge") to a prequel from his lesser familiar postapocalyptic sf title Shades Children ("You Won't Feel a Thing"). A special standout is "The Quiet Knight," a contemporary tale about a teenage boy who finds his voice through live action role-playing. This powerful story offers sharp insight into the minds of teens, gamers, and anyone else who has ever felt out of place. Many of the pieces have been previously published in Australian collections or magazines but will not be well known to U.S. readers. VERDICT Speculative fiction fans who have yet to discover Nix will embrace this outstanding introduction. The author's fans as well as those who regularly read "Year's Best" anthologies will seek it out.--JM

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from March 1, 2015
    Grades 9-12 *Starred Review* Nix's collection of richly imagined short fiction begins with the title novella set in his signature Old Kingdom, a story about a young cadet who is called upon to perform a feat of danger and daring using charter magic. Following this, the book is divided into five thematic sections: Creatures of Darkness and Light, Coming-of-Age Stories, Combat and Struggle, Lighthearted Tales, and Science Fiction, all of which have a cross-generational appeal to both adults and young adults. Among the best of this generous 20-story collection: a story of a doctor, druids, and the popular comic character Hellboy; another about a princess, a unicorn, a witch, and justice served; still another about sweet revenge exacted against three evil bane witches manque; and a fourth about a sword, an heir to the throne, and holly magic. All but one story (a realistic tale of a teenage boy who is a live-action role-playing gamester) in this masterfully done archive of previously published stories are fantasy, horror, or science fiction and are populated by a host of outre beings, from vampires and angels to demons. Nix knows them well, and the result is a feast for speculative fiction fans of all ages. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Fantasy stalwart Nix will benefit from Comic-Con promotion, blogger outreach, e-mail promotions, and more.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

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