The Transall Saga

( 121 )

Overview

Mark's solo camping trip in the desert turns into a terrifying and thrilling odyssey when a mysterious beam of light transports him to another time on what appears to be another planet. As Mark searches for a pathway back to his own time on Earth, he must make a new life in a new world. His encounters with primitive tribes bring the joy of human bonds, but violence and war as well--and, finally, a contest in which he discovers his own startling powers.

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Transall Saga

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Overview

Mark's solo camping trip in the desert turns into a terrifying and thrilling odyssey when a mysterious beam of light transports him to another time on what appears to be another planet. As Mark searches for a pathway back to his own time on Earth, he must make a new life in a new world. His encounters with primitive tribes bring the joy of human bonds, but violence and war as well--and, finally, a contest in which he discovers his own startling powers.

While backpacking in the desert, thirteen-year-old Mark falls into a tube of blue light and is transported into a more primitive world, where he must use his knowledge and skills to survive.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Gary Paulsen, bestselling author of Brian's Winter, brings us a new dimension in adventure with The Transall Saga.

* "[A] world of rare charm, a captivating, well-realized realm, where fantastical elements force the protagonist to discover and employ the greatest strengths of his humanity."
--Booklist, starred

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Paulsen (Brian's Winter) works his magic with another wilderness adventure yarn. But the wilderness this time isn't in this worldor is it? That's what 13-year-old Mark tries to discover. On his first solo backpacking trip, crossing an old missile range in a desert out west, a mysterious blue light transports him to a thick red jungle under a sulfurous sky. There the struggle for survival soon supersedes the quest for the route home. Paulsen draws on such Saturday-matinee staples as poisonous insects, deadly quicksand and murderous beasts; Mark even swings on vines with a friendly monkey-like creature (and this is just the first 30 pages). Yet the plot feels fresh, thanks to the author's taut, unsentimental storytelling (Mark's Tarzan-esque antics, for example, result in broken ribs). Mark grows to manhood in the four or so years of his sojourn; the narrative, meanwhile, continues at a hurtling pace. The teen saves a girl's life, then joins her tribe of forest-dwellers; later, he is captured with them and enslaved by the more technologically advanced Tsook people. There are raids, escapes and brushes with the Tsook overlord, the Merkon, who takes a frighteningly keen interest in Mark. Readers may figure out who the Merkon is long before the protagonist does, but no matterthe action along the way (including just the right dash of romance) is never less than enthralling. While the story is self-contained, the end points to a sequel, so, with any luck, another installment is on the way. Ages 12-up. (May)
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
Mark is camping alone in the desert when a shaft of light transports him to what seems like a different world. Even the colors of trees, soil, and sky are odd. And the inhabitants! What very peculiar, primitive tribes! But one of the tribes is friendly, and their language is not completely impossible. Mark lives on Transall for several years before he's shown some artifacts that lead him to say, "I belong to a time hundreds, no probably thousands, of years in the past." Paulsen writes a thrilling adventure story that ends with just a little twist.
VOYA - Libby Bergstrom
On his first solo backpacking trip, Mark Harrison discovers a mysterious blue light, falling through it and landing in a strange land. From there, in episodes of non-stop action, he learns to survive on his own with little more than his pocketknife and a few broken matches. As days become years, Mark meets the inhabitants of this world called Transall, suffers as a slave, proves himself a noble warrior, and fights violent raids. He learns that he entered Transall through a time warp, and is on a radically different Earth changed by nuclear war and viral epidemics. Transall eventually becomes home to Mark. He falls in love and plans to get married, until he again finds the blue light and winds up back in his own time. Paulsen touches on the serious issues of racism, slavery, and human rights, but the breakneck speed of the plot allows little time for the exploration of these themes. The characterization is shallow, and Mark comes across as almost too good to be true--for example, he is able to fluently speak the language of the Tsook, the people who have enslaved him, after only a few months with them. Readers caught up in the excitement of the plot won't notice these weaknesses, however. Mark lives out the dreams of many YAs--to be independent, respected, and powerful. Paulsen has once again done what he does best, delivering a riveting tale of adventure and action. Expect this to be popular with Paulsen fans. VOYA Codes: 3Q 5P M J (Readable without serious defects, Every YA (who reads) was dying to read it yesterday, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7In this rare venture into middle-grade science fiction, Paulsen catapults a modern teenager several thousand years into a future in which mutated humans are just beginning to recover from a worldwide plague. Hiking alone, Mark falls into a time warp and wakes up in a jungle inhabited by strange, almost-familiar creatures. As he uses makeshift methods to survive and searches for the roving warp, he encounters successively more civilized, web-footed people, and works his way, as years pass, up from slave to respected warrior. After fighting a war leader known as "The Merkon" get it? Merkon? American?, who turns out to be a convict from his own era, Mark leads the tyrant's army away from his friends and fiance before the warp snatches him back and drops him in a 1990s mall. He becomes a doctor, dedicated to finding a cure for Ebola. As Paulsen fans will expect, Mark's efforts at solo survival are engrossingly credible-funny and disgusting at times, too-but the characters are only a bit less typecast than the cultures in which they live, and the violent, contrivance-ridden plot demands readers as uncritical as a protagonist who can, in all seriousness, conclude that "in this world, war and killing weren't a part of life, they were life" whatever that means. It's a thin bit of storytelling, but a quick read, divided into very short chapters and lit by flickers of the old Paulsen magic.John Peters, New York Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Paulsen (My Life in Dog Years, 1998, etc.), treading water, offers a competent fantasy-adventure about a boy who is time- warped into a primitive world, undergoes the hero's journey, and proves he can get the girl and still go home again. Mark, 13, is thrilled to spend a few days in the desert camping, until a mysterious light transports him to a place and time not his own. When he comes upon other people, recognizable but clearly different from himself, he sees that he is in a society close to that of the first peoples in North America. The language is plain, action-oriented, and always driven toward cliff-hanging chapter endings, but there is little in the way of character development. Instead the story is filled with some powerful if old-fashioned archetypes engaged in fairly primal give-and-take: Mark kills a horrible beast and thereby rescues a young maiden from its clutches; he kills or outsmarts all enemies; he is accepted as a warrior and undergoes ceremonial tributes as such; he's sweet to younger children; and prepares to marry the chief's daughter. Other than referring to pizza and his parents once or twice, Mark is at home as a warrior/survivor; his former life falls away even as he searches for the way back to the present. In the end, the light brings a 17-year-old Mark back from what was a future brought about by a great epidemic; his readjustment is unremarked upon. Readers last glimpse Mark as an adult, trying to find a vaccine for the virus behind the epidemic. (Fiction. 10- 14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375873232
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 3/8/2011
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 95,515
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary Paulsen is the distinguished author of many critically acclaimed books for young people, His most recent books are Lawn Boy Returns, Woods Runner, Notes from the Dog, Mudshark, Lawn Boy, Molly McGinty Has a Really Good Day, The Time Hackers, and The Amazing Life of Birds (The Twenty Day Puberty Journal of Duane Homer Leech).
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Read an Excerpt

A snorting sound came from beyond the trees.  A large hairy animal resembling a buffalo charged into the small opening.  It had long tusks, beady eyes and a piglike snout.  The thing waved its shaggy head back and forth, sniffed the air and bellowed.

This can't be happening.  Mark edged toward the nearest tree.  The instant he moved, the beast spotted him.  It pawed the ground with its large hooves and lowered its massive head to attack.

There was no time to think.  Mark jumped for the closest branch and swung up into the tree just as the sharp tusks rushed underneath him.  The animal stopped and sniffed the air again.  Unable to locate its victim, the creature snorted and ambled off into the red forest.

Mark stayed on the branch.  He was shaking and his mind was in a whirl.  "All right.  Would a hallucination attack me? This must be a real place," he whispered.  "But where is it? And how did I get here?"

He thought back to the night before and the energy-charged light.  It has to be.  Whatever that blue light was, it's the key.  When I fell into the tube it transported me to . . . to where? I don't even know if I'm on Earth anymore.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 121 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(100)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 122 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2008

    WOW!!!

    this book was the best book i've read this year so far. It was amazing!! I just cant think of any other book to pick if your looking for a good science fiction. I was kind of disappointed with the ending however, I mean he just got home. The epiloge was interesting though..........

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2013

    Transall Saga

    This book is an amazing book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2013

    Wonderful!

    Ive read this story over and over and its never a dull read. Well written and fun, i would sugest this book to readers of any age.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2013

    Great

    Couldnt put it down!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2012

    Great book

    Great book we r reading this book too and so far it is soo good great read if you like gary paulson but its unlike anything he has ever wrote. But dont stop in the middle it is really great in the end but for that to happen you have to read the aploge at the end of the book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2014

    Best book ever

    This book was awesome. My favorite caricter is the Merkon.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2013

    Is there going to be a second one like brains winter.

    There should be what happens if there was no blue light thingy would he go back to the villagge.?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2013

    Isawesome1234

    Cool!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2013

    Do a

    Multiplaye one!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2013

    Austinuity/epictoots

    Do a survival games one!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2013

    Minecraft Saga: Steve and Herobrine Series #3: The Final Entity

    It was bleak as the neverending fields of lava from the Nether he had just returned from as Steve stared into the white midnight sun, so to speak. He had built a small cavernous hut in a high tree in the jungle, just enough for his bare necessities: a crafting table, a furnace, a chest and a bed. It was all his fault the Overworld was flooded with lava. The Nether and the Overworld were so similar that Steve couldn't tell if he was in which world. He sighed as he recollected his thoughts. A few months ago, Herobrine infiltrated the world through his Nether Portal while Steve was mining. Herobrine, seeing this Portal, built a huge version of it and poured thousands of gallons of lava through the portal. The lava had incinerated his home biome, so Steve had to grab his stuff and break in the night's midst. It was now dawn. One of the few things Steve actually took humor in was watching the mutilated zombies burn to death. He kicked a cow bone over the tree, and it skidded to a halt near a cow. Steve sighed, and climbed down the vines. He walke over to his chest, and stuffed his fist into it. Ender Eyes. He flung one in the air, and watched it hail down purple sparks, and come to a halt somqhere to the north. The frozen tundra. The land of obsidian and spruce. He ran forward. H flung another Eye in the air and watched it come to rest about fifty blocks ahead of him. He ran forward, and laid another Eye on the ground. It skidded to a nearby block, and laid there. Steve dug in that spot. It was ages before he fell straight into the portal frame. He geared himself into battle mode and charged the Silverfish spawner. He destroyed it ina puff of smoke, and turned back to the portal frame. He carefully laid some Eyes where they go, and watched the black, sparkling portal flash to life. He closed his eyes, and stepped in. He landed in a obsidian ball. He mined his way out, and walked along the platform until he saw his worst nightmare come true: 20 Endermen, 2 Withers, and Herobrine himself riding the Enderdragon. "Well. Look whose here," Herobrine commented. "Endermen, attack." Steve gaped with aptitude at the mass of black monsters as his health drained. He switched to life-preserving mode. Everything that moved was a target. He turned into a monster, hacking and slashing. He panted as he picked up the last Ender Pearl. "Withers, go." Steve barely had time to breathe as he was blown aside by a bomb. He recoiled, and arrows flew. Dozens. Whittling away at them health by health. Flying arrows. Flaming arrows. Plain arrows. Steve almost fell unconscious as Herobrine stood over him, holding the two Nether Stars. Steve quickly drank some healing potions, wiped his chin, and stood to face Herobrine. Steve snickered as the dragon came to a halt in the designated spot. Explosion. Dragon parts. Blood everywhere. The enormous TNT trap Steve had put his lifeblood into making actually worked. Herobrine, now gravely injured, flew to painful halt in front of triumphant Steve. "Steve... no, don't kill me... I'm begging you..." His sword was fixated on Herobrine's throat. "Give me one good reason." "Be-because... I want my life to end..." Steve just stared at him. "Kill me... I never meant to cause harm... I just... wanted that emerald..." Herobrine's eyes turned white, and in his hand, was the fabled God Sword. And a insignia of 'Steve, believe.' I grasped the sword and looked at the sky, wondering what I had just done. A tear rolled down my cheek. THE END

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2013

    Awesome

    A really good book for person who wants to zone off and get stuck i couldnt stop reading

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    I loved it

    This book was great.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2012

    AWSOME

    Ive read this book a few years ago. I really enyoyed it. A great thriller. A must read for sci fi fans and Paulsen fans.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2012

    To zanto

    Well zanto it doesnt matter about the pages it matters about how goog it is

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2012

    Totally worth reccomending!

    This is officially my favorite book of all time!!! If gary paulsen ever reads this review, he needs to write more like it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2012

    Love it

    We are reading this book in class and we are on chapter 22 and so far this book is amazing!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    The best book ever

    This book is th best book so far that my class has ever read

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    Awesome

    Thriling from begining to end non stop action

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Ooooooooooh! I've read this!

    When i was in fourth grade this was a book we were forced into reading. It the only book i remember reading and i found it boring. It took for ever for us to finsh. I would not want to was the time reading the book again.

    I give it 2 1/2 stars

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 122 Customer Reviews

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