Home > Fantasy, Intermediate Fiction, Senior Fiction > The Limping Man by Maurice Gee

The Limping Man by Maurice Gee

The Limping Man by Maurice Gee. Pub. Puffin Books 2010.

This is the third and alleged final book in the Salt Series that began with Salt, followed by Gool.

Both these titles were contenders for the NZ Post Book Awards and for the LIANZA Book Awards, and deservedly so in spite of the very dark themes showing humankind at its very worst.

I asked Maurice Gee about this and his reply was “the kids sorted it in the end didn’t they?’ Yes they did, and its Gee’s faith in the essential goodness and resilience of children that wins out again in this novel.

The heroes of this novel are Hana, whose mother was burnt as a witch by the evil Limping Man, and Ben, the son of Lo whose parents, Hari and Pearl, were the stars of Salt. Xantee and her children, Blossom and Hubert also appear to maintain connections with Gool.

This time the evil power that has arisen from the ruins of the city of Belong to fill the gap left by the demise of the Gool, is a character called the Limping Man. The source of his power is a mystery until the end, but he is able to subject people into believing he is a Messiah, and to do evil things because they love him.

This is a fantasy/adventure, brilliantly and concisely written by an author who is still top of his game. How does he do it?

As long as Maurice Gee turns out stories of this calibre, I will keep reading them and so should you. I doubt that it is the last in the series.

Intermediate and Secondary school students are the main audience for this whole series. Do yourself a favour and read this by New Zealand’s best childrens’ fiction writer.

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