In this novella, Nicholas is still recovering from his possession by Orannis, the Ninth Bright Shiner. He is brought his uncle, the Chief Minister, to a secret facility studying the Old Kingdom. All Nicholas wants to do is return to the Old Kingdom and Lirael so he agrees to answer any questions the researcher might have. But when a dangerous creature escapes, Nicholas does all he can to stop it before it reaches the Wall and the Old Kingdom.
"Who would not fear the power of the Nine Bright Shiners, highest of the high?"
I loved all of the Abhorsen series so when I found out about the short novella that continued the story of Nicholas Sayre, I really wanted to read it. There is very little of Lirael and the Old Kingdom as all the action takes place in Ancelstierre, the non-magical part of this world that Nix has created. But it was nice to see what became of Nicholas. He was one of my favorite characters. Even though it is short, it is amazing how well developed all the characters and the world are, but I guess that this is because the world has been explored at length in three full novels. It was an action packed adventure with all the hallmarks of this series. I wish there would have been more Lirael, but it was good to explore more of Nicholas' character.