Review of 'Nation'

Nation by Terry Pratchett

Mau is a native of an island in “The Great Southern Pelagic Ocean” (the equivalent of the South Pacific in our world) returning from a trip to another island to prove his manhood when a giant wave kills his entire tribe. The wave also brings a schooner crashing into the forest, the “Sweet Judy” which itself also has only a single survivor - “Daphne”, a young girl who just happens to be direct in line to the throne of Britain (and closer than she knows with disease taking its toll on those ahead of her in the list…).

Mau is recovering from the loss of his world, as is Daphne as they seek to make sense of the situation they are thrown into. Everything they have known to be true is no longer so - Mau questioning the faith he has been taught with what he sees around him (and the loss he has suffered) and Daphne struggles to communicate with this new society and figure out what her role might be here. As survivors from other islands arrive Mau is forced into the role of chief and the responsibilities it entails including protecting the island from the Raiders.

Interesting “serious” fantasy from the author of the Discworld novels, Nation is an interesting read. We had seen the stage play at the National Theatre in London before I read this book which was absolutely amazing. This is not what you might call a “fun” book which is typical of Pratchett with death featuring frequently throughout as well as very deep, moral dilemmas. The very real question often posed is whether it is worth suppressing your personal beliefs and desires for the benefit of others? This is true of both Mau and Daphne who is always aware she is to return to her world but knows that this may very well compromise the more fundamental beliefs she learns with Mau.

Yeah, laughs do not abound. But there are a few…

Certainly recommended and very interesting.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2014-01-18

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Corgi

Publication Date: 2008

Other reviewed books by Neil Gaiman, and Terry Pratchett:

Other reviewed books by Terry Pratchett:

Other reviewed books by Terry Pratchett, Jack Cohen, and Ian Stewart: