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Terry Pratchett

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When a giant wave destroys his village, Mau is the only one left. Daphne—a traveler from the other side of the globe—is the sole survivor of a shipwreck. Separated by language and customs, the two are united by catastrophe. Slowly, they are joined by other refugees. And as they struggle to protect the small band, Mau and Daphne defy ancestral spirits, challenge death himself, and uncover a long-hidden secret that literally turns the world upside down.

Publishers Weekly Review

Aug 11, 2008 – In Carnegie Medalist Pratchett’s (the Discworld novels; A Hat Full of Sky) superb mix of alternate history and fantasy, the king of England, along with the next 137 people in line to the throne, has just succumbed to the plague; the era might be akin to the 1860s or ’70s. As the heir apparent is being fetched from his new post as governor of an island chain in the South Pelagic Ocean, his daughter, the redoubtable Ermintrude, still en route to join him in the South Pelagic, has been shipwrecked by a tsunami. She meets Mau, whose entire people have been wiped out by the great wave (he escaped their fate only because he was undergoing an initiation rite on another island). She and Mau each suffer profound crises of faith, and together they re-establish Mau’s nation from other survivors who gradually wash up on shore and rediscover (with guidance from spirits) its remarkable lost heritage. Neatly balancing the somber and the wildly humorous in a riveting tale of discovery, Pratchett shows himself at the height of his powers. Ages 12–up.

Customer Reviews


First, this is NOT a Discworld book. It is also not, as advertised, childrens' fiction, I would set the minimum age around 10. It's also not about a "noble savage" in first contact with western civilization, although there are some aspects of that genre present.

Mau is a Pacific island boy who has just passed the solo rite of passage into manhood. But when he returns to his village, everyone he knows has been swept away by a tsunami. Pratchett let's us share Mau's grief, strength, and growth as he and the survivors who turn up find their way.

As with his other "juvenile" fiction, Pratchett displays a great deal of respect for his readers, and there is always humor mixed with the serious. He is a writer who consistently spins entertaining stories that bring along challenging and valuable ideas but is never preachy - he let's the reader discover their own lessons and conclusions.

Get Nation for yourself, share it with your children. You'll find a lot to share.

Not very well done

This books suffers from the problem of not having a good editor and an author that falls in love with his words. This book could have easily been reduced by 25% without effecting the story at all, the best writers tell a story in the fewest words. There are too many unnecessary diversions and distractions in this book, too many parts that are not important or even useful to the story. And then after all the unnecessary twists and distractions at the end he conveniently just magically wraps things up with the heros all arriving on cue. And after wasting many words, sentence, and paragrhs on things that aren't relevant, there are many things that don't make sense or aren't explained or described well enough.

View In iTunes
  • $8.99
  • Level: Grades 8 and Above
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Action & Adventure
  • Published: Oct 06, 2009
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 384 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings