The Limping Man, by Maurice Gee

He was a small man, dressed in blood-red robes with yellow flames crawling upwards from the hem, and a cloth crown rising in folds and bulging at the back, where ribbons drooped over his shoulders like a waterfall. She had never seen a man dressed so foolishly. How could he hide? How could he get away when someone chased him? Then she remembered that he did not need to.

The Limping Man controls everyone who comes near him. But Hana and her mother are free of his power, until the day his soldiers raid the burrow, and Mam swallows poison rather than be burnt as a witch in People’s Square. Hana flees the city and in the forests and jungles beyond she makes friends with others who live beyond the Limping man’s reach.

When she meets Ben, son of Lo, they set out on a quest to discover the secret of the Limping man’s power and thus destroy him before his evil consumes the world.

The Limping Man is the gripping finale to the Salt trilogy, and, like its predecessors, moves skilfully through the physical and mental journeys of the characters. Each character has strengths and flaws which make them both likeable and real, and favourite characters from earlier offerings make appearances. The plot builds smoothly, with enough obstacles to keep the reader guessing.

Those who have not read the first two books could red this as a stand alone offering, but will get most value from reading the three sequentially.

The Limping Man (Salt Trilogy)

The Limping Man , by Maurice Gee
Text, 2010

This book can be purchased from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.

Salt, by Maurice Gee

An iron door. That’s the way into Deep Salt. It’s wide enough for one man, and they never open it except to let new workers in. Nothing ever comes out. There must be a rail inside, going into the hill. They open an iron shutter and put food and water on a trolley and push it in. Then they close the shutter. And that’s all.

Tarl is all that Hari has in the world, so when Tarl is captured and enslaved, Hari vows to rescue him. But it seems an impossible task – Tarl is being sent to Deep Salt, and no one ever returns from Deep Salt. Still, Hari is special. He can communicate with animals, a skill no one else from the Burrows has. At the other end of the city, Pearl has been raised in luxury, but when she flees an arranged marriage helped by her very special maid, Tealeaf, she must fight for survival. When they meet Hari, Tealeaf knows that the three must travel and work together – although neither Pearl or Hari is keen on the idea.

Salt is a compelling fantasy read , set in a world where constant warring and quest for wealth and power have created destruction and great divides between races. Pearl, Harl and Tealeaf all come from different places, yet work together as equals to try to make a difference for themselves and those around them. It is a bleak setting, but the story offers hope.

Suitable for teens and adult readers, this is a brilliant novel.

Salt (Salt Trilogy)

Salt, by Maurice Gee
First published by Puffin, NZ. This edition text Publishing, 2009

This book can be purchased online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.