We’ve always loved Maurice Gee since being introduced to him at school with The fire-raiser and Under the mountain. Imagine our excitement then at now being able to rave about his tremendous YA Salt Trilogy! This tremendous trilogy takes place in a part dystopian, part fantasy world where one group of citizens, Company, exploit everyone else. Never fear, there’s a resistance movement against these dasterdly rulers and their cruel inforcers, the Whips. What struck us the most about this novel was that the narration felt very much like an oral tradition society telling the story of their origins. The flow of the sentences, the words chosen, the cadence for example all suggest this story is best read aloud.
Salt, Maurice Gee
The first book in the trilogy opens with the father of the hero, Hari, being forcably taken by the Whips to work in Deep Salt, the mysterious mines from which no one returns. Hari has a secret gift: he can communicate with animals. With this and his own smarts he sets out to rescue his father from With him is the beautiful Pearl, born into Company, she runs from a life of subservience as a married woman and has learned forbidden things from her mysteriously gifted maid Tealeaf.
Gool, Maurice Gee
Book two introduces a different kind of horror to Hari’s world. The Gool cannot be seen, not properly, but its evil presence can be sensed. It lurks in the jungle in rock clefts, an enemy from outside nature. And now, a fragment of Gool holds Hari by the throat, draining the life from him. Hari’s friends set out on a perilous mission to find the Dog King Tarl, Hari’s father who they hope will be able to find the source of the Gool and destroy it before it’s too late.
The limping man, Maurice Gee
The final book involves Hari and Pearl’s grandson Ben. He’s been raised by them, and doesn’t quite fit into their world (in the wilderness) or his father’s world (in the city). Back in the burrows Hana has just watched her mother die, and she seeks a way to take revenge on the Limping Man, who has caused her death. Hanna and Ben meet in the forest where they learn of the advancing armies that will wipe out all those who have sought refuge in the wilderness. And so begins their quest to destroy the Limping Man whose secret they need to discover because none of them–alone or together–is strong enough to fight the evil the Limping Man embodies without knowing his secret.
Oh, Maurice Gee, you do battles of good and evil so very well. We loved The Halfmen of O and we love this Tremendous Trilogy just as much!