Maurice Gee is one of New Zealand's best-known writers for adults and children. He has won a number of literary awards, including the Wattie Award, the Deutz Medal for Fiction, the New Zealand Fiction Award, the New Zealand Children's Book of the Year Award and the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement. Maurice Gee's children's novels include Salt, The Fat Man, The Fire-Raiser, Under the Mountain and the O trilogy. Maurice lives in Nelson with his wife Margareta, and has two daughters and a son.
This generally well-written, believable fantasy novel is the third volume in the ‘Salt' trilogy by multi-award winning New Zealand author Maurice Gee. As with his two earlier novels in the trilogy, Salt and Gool, it would appeal to both male and female young adults between the ages of 12 and 16 who enjoy reading the adventure/high-fantasy genre popularised by such authors as Ursula Le Guin. Gee's storyline grabs the reader from the opening page. We follow at breakneck pace as the main character Hanna is saved from the evil Limping Man's henchmen by her mother. The plot continues, full of action and violence with somewhat predictable outcomes-the demise of the Limping Man is well sign-posted. However, unlike the ‘Earthsea' trilogy there is not the overall reading satisfaction here, especially given what might be expected in the concluding novel in a trilogy. In fact, the final chapter seems without closure and is quite weak. I would recommend The Limping Man to school and public librarians to purchase and to high school English teachers to suggest to students. Susan Hill has a Masters in Children's Literature and is a secondary English teacher and librarian
Gr 6 Up-The Limping Man rules by bending people's minds so that they adore him. He fears anyone else who may have similar powers, burning women at the stake and drowning men whom he suspects. Hana flees the city, and her mother takes poison for a swift death. Hana doesn't travel far before she meets Danatok, one of the nonhuman Dwellers, who teaches her how to survive in the wilderness. In return, she bears a message to others of the Limping Man's plan to use his army to clear the countryside of everyone, whether human or Dweller, who is not already in his thrall. Lo and his son Ben as well as the twins Blossom and Hubert gather to fight the evil man. Blossom and Hubert have powerful mental powers while Lo and Ben have other skills learned from the Dwellers. Hana herself has a special bond with a hawk so that they can see out of one another's eyes. This series conclusion shares characters and history with Salt (2009) and Gool (2010, both Orca), but stands well on its own. As in earlier volumes, Gee deftly creates heroes, villains, and his unnamed world with spare brush strokes. In particular, he offers a humble heroine to whom readers may easily relate. This book should please fans of the earlier books as well as readers who enjoy characters who succeed by virtue of their heads and hearts.-Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.