He saw the men as they toiled up to the farm, but he was working in the high fields and though nothing of it.
Nian’s feast clothes were laid out on his sleeping mat. He shrugged himself into his tunic and tied his sash carefully. It was edged in scarlet to show he was the eldest son, and he was proud of it.”
Nian has been recruited by the Lords of Truth, but their recruitment process isn’t the fairest and he is kept against his will at the House of Truth to become one of them. Whilst there he can think of nothing but how to get back to his family on their farm. He starts enhancing his powers to use them against the house, to break free, but when he does this he finds himself transported to another world, to Jacob’s world, or more precisely Jacob’s living room in Essex. Nian has no idea what anything is, he doesn’t speak English and more importantly there are people looking for him still.
When I saw that Sally Prue was taking part in an event hosted by Oxford University Press that I am attending I checked out her books. The Truth Sayer’s cover and blurb looked and sounded fantastic and even though its for a younger audience than my usual reads I thought it would be a great place to start with the author. Know that I’ve read it I can definitely say that this autho is one I’ll be keeping an eye on from now on!
The story took a while to really kick in, but all the back story really came in handy later in the book. I loved the world that Prue created for Nian even though he was experiencing what could only be the harshest part of it. The story is split between Nian’s world and Jacob’s but its not evenly split which I liked as Nian is the main focus of the book. I liked how the story panned out and when it came apparent how the two were linked I thought it was a great way to round that aspect of the book up. Jacob can hear something which he refers to as the ‘wherevers’ in his living room and it causes him a lot of discomfort at the beginning of the book. Nian soon discovers there are links between his world and Jacob’s but isn’t sure where it goes and his discovery of this was brilliant.
I thought the story of the Truth Sayer was a brilliant subplot and it creates another literary link between the two worlds because of what Nian discovers when he is in Jacob’s world about language. I liked the message that this put across and thought it was a great one for younger readers. The book is the first in a series which I will definitely be checking out now I have discovered its beginning.
The way Sally Prue uses language is fascinating and I loved the phonetic spelling of some of the words from Jacob’s world when Nian was trying to work them out. I liked the way around the language barriers was explained so that we didn’t have Nian speaking English even though he came from another world.
I do think The Truth Sayer is a brilliant tale for kids of around 10. It has all the adventure they crave with important messages interwoven and brilliant characters who they will probably be able to relate to. I really enjoyed the story and will be keeping hold of my copy for my future kids to enjoy.
The Truth Sayer was first published by Oxford University Press in 2007 with a re-release of the series coming in 2009. My copy was purchased online.
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