Josiah's Reviews > The Transall Saga

The Transall Saga by Gary Paulsen
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's review
Apr 21, 2010

it was ok

In some ways, Gary Paulsen has gone an entirely new route in this book. The Transall Saga takes place mostly in a sort of futuristic society, though one that differs greatly from the cultures found in most science fiction tomes. This land (called "Transall") to which Mark has been unexpectedly transported is far inferior to our modern world in terms of technology and personal development, placing more emphasis on war and looting than on nobility of character.

Mark, age thirteen, has suddenly left his world (considering that The Transall Saga was published in 1998, I'd say that "his world" is right about at that same time period) and become immersed in this new culture. It is in these initial rough times that Gary Paulsen's famed wilderness writing finds its niche, with Mark trying to learn the lay of the land and the ways of its often terrifying creatures, just to survive to the next day. He has to learn to feed and clothe himself, as well as how to avoid being eaten by the vicious animals that roam the bizarre planet that he now calls home.

Mark does eventually find his way, and finds native people in this new land, too. Complications come and go as he moves from tribe to tribe, earning honors and enemies, until eventually he confronts the one man whose pathway to Transall has mirrored his own, the man who might be able to help send Mark back to his own time.

There are some examples of pretty good descriptive writing in this book, and I certainly laud Gary Paulsen for branching out and trying something new. His main character, Mark, runs the full gamut of emotions in The Transall Saga, feeling anger and occasionally disgust for the native peoples of the land, and fear when he is chased by those who wouldn't think twice before killing him. Mark also finds that even in a seemingly new world true love can be found, and this connection adds further complications to his already difficult journey.

I would give at least one and a half stars to this book, and likely the full two.

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Reading Progress

April 21, 2010 – Started Reading
April 21, 2010 – Shelved
April 21, 2010 –
page 3
April 21, 2010 –
page 7
April 22, 2010 –
page 19
April 22, 2010 –
page 36
April 25, 2010 –
page 152
April 26, 2010 – Finished Reading

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