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In Other Lands

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  8,229 ratings  ·  2,065 reviews
“What’s your name?”


“Serena?” Elliot asked.

“Serene,” said Serene. “My full name is Serene-Heart-in-the-Chaos-of-Battle.”

Elliot’s mouth fell open. “That is badass.”

The Borderlands aren’t like anywhere else. Don’t try to smuggle a phone or any other piece of technology over the wall that marks the Border—unless you enjoy a fireworks display in your backpack. (Ballpoi
Hardcover, 437 pages
Published August 15th 2017 by Big Mouth House (first published June 10th 2014)
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Beth It just showed up as an ARC in LibraryThings Early Reviewer's program, so I think it is happening.

It's even better than it was before!…more
It just showed up as an ARC in LibraryThings Early Reviewer's program, so I think it is happening.

It's even better than it was before!(less)
skadoosh It's an expanded version of Turn of the Story (check the length! 432 pages! wow!) that also seems to have been rewritten to some degree. SRB's blog po…moreIt's an expanded version of Turn of the Story (check the length! 432 pages! wow!) that also seems to have been rewritten to some degree. SRB's blog post says "...I wrote a good bit more. I wrote a Romantic Resolution. I wrote a Friendship Resolution. I went back in time and wrote more of the hero in our world, making no friends. I went back and wrote the hero in the magic world, trying to make new friends and making friends he didn’t expect." So it likely does include the extra snippets that have been posted online, as well as a lot of new content.

(full post:

The blog post also mentions that the book has a different title because it's a different book now. It's not clear to what extent it's been rewritten, but the original Turn of the Story is being taken down in two weeks (which is standard, otherwise how would SRB and her publisher expect to make money from In Other Lands?). So, save the original Turn of the Story if you wish, and look forward to a longer and slightly different version in a couple months' time!(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.35  · 
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 ·  8,229 ratings  ·  2,065 reviews

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Sherwood Smith
One of the aspects of the long conversation writers have been having with literature that I find most interesting is what some call deconstruction. We read a given genre with pleasure, eventually discovering patterns to which we respond in various ways. The fictional deconstruction I tend to gravitate to reads like a conversation, and like a conversation can vary from critical engagement to sly tweaks and riffs. I’m not really into the slamdunks, though many readers I know are.

In recent years th
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: y'all
um hello i reread it (listening to the audiobook actually) and im still absolutely in love with this book,,, also the audiobook is good

Normally, Elliot refused weird propositions from potentially demented strangers.

this (not-really-a) review is going to be in a bullet point thingy style because i can't stay coherent even if my life depended on it
• i fell in L
C.G. Drews
Okayyyy I have not finished this book. NOT BECAUSE I DIDN'T WANT TO. It was up on Edleweiss and I didn't realise it was a sampler? I am so very confused. Why would they do this to me. I am sweet and kind and didn't deserve to fully enjoy like 100pgs of an excellent book and then have it rudely snatched from me. I'm so MAD right now.

Anyway! It's wonderful and hilarious and I want more. Super feminist (!!) and magical and Elliot is a nasty little pacifist bookworm and honestly just the worst and I
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
4ish stars.

This is a warts-and-all type of story. Far from perfect, but so much of it worked for me. It wasn't at all what I was expecting and it caught me off guard when I realized I liked it so much. Loved these characters, as awful a person as Elliot is. Can you even blame him though? HE'S SO MUCH SMARTER THAN YOU IT'S NOT HIS FAULT. Great dialogue and lots of snark really elevate it from other "magic school" or "portal fantasy" books and deconstructions of the same, and make up for what it l
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
DNF. I read several chapters, started suspecting that it wasn't going to be my type of read, and skimmed about half of the rest of the book, which confirmed my suspicions. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Thirteen-year-old Elliot is pulled from his geography class one day, packed into a van with three other students, and driven to a random field in Devon, England, where he watches his French teacher exchanges money with a woman standing next to a high wall.
The woman in odd clothing “tes
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, 2017, 2019, rereads, lgbtq, ya
if you ever wanted a crash course in things I love then read this book
Clare Vaughn
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hands-down one of the most hilarious narrators I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Think Percy Jackson, if Percy Jackson was a pacifist and also kind of a huge asshole. Elliot is intelligent, gutsy, and out to save the world through learning trollish, throwing knives (in a uniquely pacifist way that's also a dick move), and talking to (flirting with) people instead of hitting them, good lord guys. He is my absolute favorite person: I laughed during "In Other Lands" more than I have in ages.

I absolutely LOVED this book. If it was 2017 still I'd be saying this is the best bisexual book I've read all year. But it'll probably be the best one I read in 2018 too (we'll see?). It took me a little bit to get into this, but once I was on board with the dry humour and understood who Elliot was (obnoxious little turd that he is who has never been loved), I could not stop reading this book.

I found it to be a wonderful nuanced portrayal of a bisexual boy and about a kid who goes away to a port
/ugly crying

(The more proper review)

Let’s start with a confession: I really like reading books that my friends like. I love being a part of a fandom or a community, so usually a hype is something that pulls me closer and not away. Unfortunately, sometimes I talk myself into believing I like something much more than I really do and then the realization is disturbing and I feel kind of fake or stupid. It happened to me already once this year so when I started reading In Other Lands I promised mys
˗ˏˋ eg ˎˊ˗
this book was a fucking DELIGHT and I have truly never loved anything more

this book continues to be the Best Everything My Two Eyes Have Ever Read!!!!!! I LOVE!!!
Iryna *Book and Sword*
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc-s
2.5/5 stars (rounded down)

I just realized that the book has been long published and I can finally update my partial review here as well. It was originally posted on my blog: HERE

I must say that the blurb of this book is a little misleading. I was expecting a fantasy book – full of adventures, mermaids, elves, dwarves, maybe even some dragons – you know, the usual stuff. That was not what I got. Granted there were elves and mermaids, and some other mythical creatures – it just wasn’t fantasy. It
Elle (ellexamines)
Oct 12, 2018 marked it as on-my-shelf
you know you're going to love a book when you get five pages in and see this:
“Are you telling me that I have magical powers?” Elliot asked. “Because I can’t walk through walls? That doesn’t seem right.”

I can't.

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Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book! It's funny, thoughtful and wonderfully inventive. My only gripe is that it's over now;-) Such a bright, satisfying read. My copy came from the library, but I liked it so much I just ordered my own. I look forward to seeing what this author comes up with next!

Find more reviews and bookish fun at
may ➹
I loved this book for many reasons but one of my favorite parts was that Luke(view spoiler) like a boner, except it’s much more embarrassing because it’s really really noticeable ...more
•°• gabs •°•
so after my fifth reread i can safely say this is my favorite book of all time.
so after my fourth reread i can safely say this is one of my favorite books of all time. like. top 3. read it. thanks.

"storybook strange and known by heart"

i'm so shook,,, this keeps getting better and better the more times i read it hhhh

honestly i'm so overwhelmed right now and i'm crying a lot and i'm probably not making much sense

seriously magical and wonderful and so angsty but also I love my smol kids Elliot and Luke and brb I need to sob over them because this book was a true delight I don't even have WORDS TO DESCRIBE
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mild general spoilers about premise/characterisation in review; more specific spoilers under cuts.

There are some great books I love and then there are books that, regardless of any possible imperfections, strike a chord right in my heart. No, let's be real: as a Polish poet once said, with pathos I'm sure Elliot would appreciate, what they do is (with apologies for the godawful translation) "tear out veins to use for chords, and pull them, and strike as chords".

This is such a profoundly funny,
Lauren Lanz
“Two harpies, one stone,” he added, and then saw the way Serene was looking at him. “A diplomatic stone! A diplomatic stone.”

Quirky, hilarious main characters are lost treasures to the reading world, and no one’ll ever be able to convince me otherwise. Elliot Schafer is the funniest main character I’ve stumbled across without a doubt, and now I’ve realized just how much I needed someone as funny as him to read about.

In Other Lands was such a perfect book. The characters were absolutely lovel
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
my heart is so full of feelings I want to claw my face off because I don't know how to deal with it. this book is so, so good. ...more
“Oh no,” Elliot moaned, and sat down heavily on his bunk bed. “This is magic Sparta.”

In Other Lands is genuinely one of the sweetest, most entertaining novels I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Sarah Rees Brennan has created an intricate world full of drama, humour, fantasy and queer romance that I can’t recommend enough.

By far the best thing about this novel is it’s protagonist, Elliot Schafer, a bisexual, Jewish boy. When In Other Lands begins, Eliot is 13 years old and it follows him
Ash | Wild Heart Reads
This book sang the song of my people and that song is one of the disaster bisexuals. It's delightful, endearing, witty and hurted but in a good way. I would lay down by life for Elliot and co. I highlighted so many parts of this books to quote, it's impossible to chose my favourite.

"I don’t need you to explain to me the concept of a magical land filled with fantastic creatures that only certain special children can enter. I am acquainted with the last several centuries of popular culture
anna (½ of readsrainbow)
rep: bi mc, gay li

GREAT FUN but also, why on earth is it this long?? at least 1/3 could've been cut & no actual plot would be missing

anyway it's actually really hard to take this book seriously when u realise that elliot is literally just [redacted] [redacted] & luke is [redacted] [redacted] (well, her interpretation of those characters, down to the idiosyncrasies we all rmbr from her earlier fandom stuff) and this whole thing is lowkey a ** ***'** * ***** **** au.....
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"You know, you're kind of a dramatic person, Elliot," she said mildly.

"I am not! How dare you!"

"It's not a bad thing," Myra said, "but when a boy calls a girl the nightlight of his soul, other people might be forgiven for thinking he's being intentionally over the top."

Elliot Schafer, irritable resident of Earth, finds himself in a quasi-Medieval magic school. People are talking about warrior-training (UGH, says Elliot) and all of it looks a lot like child endangerment. BUT, there are elves. S
h o l l i s
Even if you found yourself in a magical story, there were no guarantees that you were the hero, or that you would get the things you dreamed of. Elliot knew no way, being who he was, to deserve that.

IN OTHER LANDS is subversive, silly, sassy, strange, and sweet. It's also a wee bit heartbreaking. And sometimes you kinda wonder if anything is happening, and what's even going on, and maybe Elliot is like super abrasive and awful (kinda like how Hermione could've been if she was completely without
- ̗̀ DANY  ̖́- (danyreads)
. : ☾⋆ — 5 ★


oh my, this is it.
this is the cutest, warmest, coziest, most wholesome, nourishing, organic, pleasant, sincere, wholeheartedly pure, most adorable book in the entire world.

In Other Lands is not a perfect book, though, and I’ll give you that. but it’s a book that pulls sharply at your heartstrings and strikes a chord deep in your tummy and just gives you this all-encompassing feeling of absolute and excellent warmth and pleasantne
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, lgbt, audiobooks
main character the most obnoxious ass rat ever omg
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Sarah Rees Brennan is Irish and currently lives in Dublin. She's been writing YA books for more than ten years, which is terrifying to contemplate! She hopes you (yes you!) find at least one of them to be the kind of book you remember. ...more

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