The Sunbird Legacy
Plot: A long time ago, a warlord called Dyr tried to conquer Eternia using a weapon called the Sunbird. He failed and the Sunbird's parts were scattered all across the world. Skeletor now tries to assemble it again. Evil-Lyn, Mer-Man and Beast Man are each sent to retrieve one part. Zoar alerts Adam who changes into He-Man immediately. The hero goes to Castle Grayskull immediately to consult the Sorceress. Using the Crystal of Knowledge, the whole background about the Sunbird is revealed to He-Man. He carries this information to the king. It turns out Skeletor's campaign has already begun: Avion has been attacked. Stratos hurries to battle, struggling fiercely with Evil-Lyn. Meanwhile, Beast Man and Man-at-Arms meet in the Vine Jungle where the next part is located. Duncan is overpowered as Beast Man calls his Panther Men for help. Elsewhere again, Teela's Wind Raider is attacked by a huge tentacle monster. She manages to free herself from its grip, but a group of lizard men working for Mer-Man capture her eventually and take her to their ship. When the crew is temporarily distracted by a volcano, Teela jumps overboard. There's still yet another monster between her and the Sunbird's part, though. In the Sands of Time, He-Man is attacked by a Sand Snake which he beheads. Skeletor summons the corpses of Dyr and his army. Within the heats of all these battles, the evil warriors all touch their respective parts of the Sunbird, triggering the spell to combine it again. Using the power of this artifact, the Overlord of Evil throws the heroes into a pit where they free themselves from their chains. The Sunbird (a kind of missile) is now ready to launch. Another battle emerges while Man-at-Arms tries to disarm it. Everything seems lost when the Sunbird launches, but He-Man manages to cut the wires in the middle of the flight. Eternia has been saved.
Comments: This one has the obvious advantage of being a lot longer than most Golden Books, so a comparison might be unfair. Still, even accounting for the additional length, The Sunbird Legacy is a lot better than most of the other books of the series. The epic story is constructed very well, there are lots of major characters as well as many imaginative 'supporting monsters'. A good read!
Thanks to Mordred!