In a parallel universe set in the time when the British were still exploring and claiming new worlds a plague has affected many of its citizens. On its quest to bring the daughter of the new king back to London, the Sweet Judy is shipwrecked by a tidal wave.
On his journey into manhood Mau had just found the canoe that will take him to his home island where he will become a man. When he arrives, Mau finds that the tidal wave has taken the lives of his entire island Nation.
But when much is taken, something is returned and together Daphne and Mau confront the aftermath of catastrophe. Drawn by the smoke of Mau and Daphne's sheltering fire, other refugees slowly arrive: children without parents, mothers without babies, husbands without wives—all of them hungry and all of them frightened.
Nation was my first Terry Pratchett novel and I enjoyed the journey into this imaginary world and the story told with realism and humor. The characters question faith, struggle to keep their new family safe and overcome the hurdles of a lifestyle turned upside down all while forging a new Nation. I recommend this book to all YA readers.