The sea has taken everything.
Mau is the only one left after a giant wave sweeps his island village away. But when much is taken, something is returned, and somewhere in the jungle Daphne--a girl from the other side of the globe--is the sole survivor of a ship destroyed by the same wave.
Together the two confront the aftermath of catastrophe. Drawn by the smoke of Mau and Daphne's sheltering fire, other refugees slowly arrive: children without parents, mothers without babies, husbands without wives--all of them hungry and all of them frightened. As Mau and Daphne struggle to keep the small band safe and fed, they defy ancestral spirits, challenge death himself, and uncover a long-hidden secret that literally turns the world upside down. . . .
Internationally revered storyteller Terry Pratchett presents a breathtaking adventure of survival and discovery, and of the courage required to forge new beliefs.
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. (Oct.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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September 29, 2008
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