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The Severed Land

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  121 ratings  ·  30 reviews
This gripping, page-turning fantasy adventure follows a dangerous quest through a divided world.

From the high reaches of a tree, Fliss watches the soldiers attempting yet again to break through the invisible wall. Amid the explosions, a drummer boy tries to escape. As he is about to be shot, Fliss reaches through the wall and pulls him to safety. But Fliss is dismayed to
Paperback, 187 pages
Published January 30th 2017 by Penguin Random House NZ (first published 2017)
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Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  121 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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Apr 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Maurice Gee can write a decent fantasy that is for sure! Some of the best things about his books is that they are not over written nor overly long. He is the master of showing not telling. This book is just heaving at the seams with rollicking action. Great characters who have missions to complete and once the story really gets going there is wall to wall action.

A wall divides the land, a wall of some kind of impenetrable substance which only very few are able to pass through. On one side of
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Always great to find a book you can read in a day and enjoy from start to finish! The world Gee creates to tell the story could be in the future or the past - it's hard to really know from such a short book. The people arrive in ships, so these could be sea vessels or space flight vessels - there is a feel of Patrick Ness's world from the Chaso Walking trilogy. This makes Gee's fantasy even better as it really is a timeless account of colonisation and the brutality of the invaders to the ...more
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
*I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

3.5 stars

I love when a book is short and filled with adventure.

The Severed Land packs a punch and is far as fantasy books go, is one of the better ones I’ve read in a while. Author Gee has taken great care to fleshing out the characters and making you want them to succeed. Fliss is a strong headed girl you really get behind and her evolving relationship with the Drummer Boy was brilliantly executed. The highlight
Angelique Simonsen
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
what a book to finish my reading year with! love Maurice gees writing. the story sucks you in I very nearly shed a tear at the end!!
Full review to come.
Ella Fleming-Christie
To read a novel that was clearly young adult but set in a fantasy world based in an olden-day time of slavery was slightly unnerving, if I’m being completely honest. I was absolutely certain that reading this story with the protagonist being considered a slave for the fact that her skin is black would set me in an uncomfortable ease the whole way through; unfortunately that feeling stuck and made it hard for me to really try and see past the discrimination. Maurice Gee is a well-known New ...more
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nz-ya
A girl lead, a believable brave, smart, black girl to boot.
Intriguing dystopia along the lines of Salt. I'm a Maurice Gee fan so was always going to love it.
He took me to a land where I was 'other' and was therefore able to observe with fresh eyes.
A harsh landscape and some nightmarish scenes.
This book was written with full respect for the young adult reader. (Or adult in my case).
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In a welcome return to writing fiction intended primarily for younger readers, Maurice Gee has definitely pulled it off. This is an excellent book.
It's set in a time where,as in many dystopian novels, there has been a breakdown of civilisation.
However I hesitate to label it as dystopian fiction, as there is greater depth and more hope than in many books of that genre.

So instead, I will call it an adventure. It brings to mind the Salt trilogy, which was such an excellent series, but it's not at
Kathleen Dixon
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I don't have any room where I live but I think, despite that, that I shall be buying a copy of this book. Indeed, I should be buying a copy of every book by Maurice Gee. I haven't read one by him that I haven't been thoroughly immersed in - either his adult novels or children's. This one is for children and teens.

This story is set in a land invaded many years ago by competing families that are tentatively at peace with one another. They are a society run on slavery and violence, where the rich
Ian Tymms
Set in a medieval world where war-lord families are battling for control, this fantasy adventure has the pace and engagement of The Hobbit but without the goblins and wizards. The exploration of power and race is thoughtful and the theme of good v evil is interestingly complex. This was my first reading of a novel by Gee and I hope it won't be my last. A strong Middle School novel.
Matthew Sampson
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Severed Land's strength is its characters. It's a small story because of its characters, because of its focus on the people over the possibility for a sweeping epic, and I appreciated it because of that. When I think back over the story, the most memorable parts are the character arcs. Fliss, our main character, grows as a person in a subtle way. It's very subtle, hardly noticeable, barely stressed, but when I look at who she was at the beginning and who she is at the end, I still marvel.

R.L. Stedman
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a phenomenal book. Gee is a master storyteller, and he only gets better with age. The Severed Land tells the story of Fliss, an escaped slave, hiding behind the protection of a mysterious wall. The wall divides the world, and so stops the spread of an evil technocratic empire. But the wall is fading... The Severed Land is fast-paced, exciting and extraordinarily moving. Technically, this is a brilliant work. As always, Gee's prose is deceptively simple and the sparse, elegant, ...more
Apr 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: have-read
I enjoyed this book because the characters were well thought out, well developed, and detailed you could easily identify the tone of the character, the author could convey a personality or setting that paints a picture in your head with minimal words. The story took a lot of unexpected twist and turns, the relationship Fliss and Kirt/Keef made along the way was subtle but obvious which I thought was nice. The book was about an indestructible invisible wall separating/ protecting the natives from ...more
Mary Taylor Library
May 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Set in a world where there are feudal families vying for power and oppressing the people. Fliss was a slave but escaped through the Wall to safety. No one can pass through the invisible wall unless the wall wants you to. The wall is going to fail unless Fliss sets out to bring back the only person who is capable of keeping the wall alive. Fliss is a strong character who has had to learn skills to survive. On this quest she proves her worth and her courage in the face of adversity.
The mission is
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 3-star-reads
This is a very good, short, fantasy story. The main character will appeal, as will the supporting characters apart from the young lad. How wonderful to have a character to dislike, to be annoyed by, to see his mannerisms as something we don't want in our own society.

Will appeal to young fantasy readers Y9-11, and thank goodness it isn't too long. The art of showing the whole story in a few words was not lost on me, and I eagerly await the next in what is hopefully a series.
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Imagine if it were possible to build an invisible, impenetrable wall that would protect your land and people from slavery. Mr. Gee has produced a beautiful, exciting adventure story that will lead to all sorts of discussion on topics ranging from racism to violence and when fighting for freedom and justice is not only allowed, but necessary.
Jul 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Proof perhaps that authors don't age ! Interesting concept, very readable.
Sep 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
confusing and not very enjoyable but got better as book went on
Jaky Lin
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hello
This is me waiting to read this book
Diana Mcmahon-Reid
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well drawn heroine who deserves another book. This is a story of colonisation and resistance told as an adventure.
Julia Smith
3.5 stars
Ryan Hepburn
Jun 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book seriously sucked.
Grier Rollinson
Sep 16, 2018 rated it did not like it
This was a very boring and confusing book. It wasn't engaging at all. I don't recommend reading it.
Lorraine Orman
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
An absorbing dystopian fantasy - I want more, so I hope this is the first in a series.
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nz-authors
the severed land starts off as slow and a little boring, but once the world has been introduced, everything picks up pace. i wish this book was longer so that there could be more worldbuilding and the events didn't feel so rushed. there also wasn't much room for character development.

i really didn't like kirt/keef. i found him boring, plain and really annoying. i wish he wasn't a main character as i found him hard to connect to. fliss was an amazing heroine. she was interesting and strong
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Sep 16, 2017
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Feb 12, 2018
Vicki Munro
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Mar 18, 2017
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Apr 08, 2017
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Apr 25, 2017
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Unbreakable wall failing. [s] 4 26 Sep 13, 2017 08:16PM  
NZ Intermediate S...: The Severed Land 5 20 May 11, 2017 01:40PM  

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One of New Zealand’s most distinguished novelists, born in Whakatane, passed much of his childhood in the country town of Henderson (now contained by Auckland’s urban sprawl), and this background plays a major role in his fiction. Again and again his plots are set in Henderson, usually under another name, or other small towns. Even in the most recent, where Wellington and Auckland play a major ...more