[Review] The Severed Land


I was sent a copy of this book from the publisher Penguin Random House NZ in exchange for an honest review.

Quick fire review:

 The Severed Land packs a punch and is a short read with a lot of heart.

The characters are interesting, the journey is flawed and the overall adventure is pulled together by great world building and brilliant writing.


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 find she has saved an overfed rich boy. She is even more dismayed to learn that she must accompany him back through the wall on a special mission to rescue the Nightingale.

The world they have to travel through is a perilous one, full of predatory thieves, slave masters, beggars, dippers, mudlarks, drain-sliders, spies and wall-men. It is a world where the ruling families are caught up in a lethal power struggle.

Will Fliss and the despised drummer boy learn to trust each other? Who is the Nightingale? And will they all make it back alive?


3.5 out of 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 root for 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 of this book for me is the world building. From the opaquely desolate land to the description of the, shall we say unsavoury characters they meet on their journey, every chapter was as vivid as the last.

This book is not without its flaws but with some unexpected twists and turns thrown in the mix, this is brilliant fantasy you can fly through when short on time.

If you’ve heard about Maurice Gee’s work before but aren’t sure if he is for you, this is a delicious taster of the scope of his talent. Highly recommend!



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