To read a novel that was clearly young adult but set in a fantasy world based in an olden-day time of slavery was slightly unnerving, if I’m being completely honest. I was absolutely certain that reading this story with the protagonist being considered a slave for the fact that her skin is black would set me in an uncomfortable ease the whole way through; unfortunately that feeling stuck and made it hard for me to really try and see past the discrimination. Maurice Gee is a well-known New Zealand based author who has written titles such as Under The Mountain and the Salt trilogy and has won multiple literary awards for his writing. I have never read his work before this so I had no clue as to what I would be immersing myself in. I received The Severed Land from Penguin Random House as a uniquely wrapped package – the book itself was wrapped within a blown up poster print of the map inside the book, a brief message from the author explaining his writing hiatus, and everything was tied up in a twine bow.