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The Borderlands aren’t like anywhere else. Don’t try to smuggle a phone or any other piece of technology over the wall that marks the Border — unless you enjoy a fireworks display in your backpack. (Ballpoint pens are okay.) There are elves, harpies, and — best of all as far as Elliot is concerned — mermaids.

"What’s your name?"


"Serena?" Elliot asked.

"Serene," said Serene. "My full name is Serene-Heart-in-the-Chaos-of-Battle."

Elliot’s mouth fell open. "That is badass."

Elliot? Who’s Elliot? Elliot is thirteen years old. He’s smart and just a tiny bit obnoxious. Sometimes more than a tiny bit. When his class goes on a field trip and he can see a wall that no one else can see, he is given the chance to go to school in the Borderlands.

It turns out that on the other side of the wall, classes involve a lot more weaponry and fitness training and fewer mermaids than he expected. On the other hand, there’s Serene-Heart-in-the-Chaos-of-Battle, an elven warrior who is more beautiful than anyone Elliot has ever seen, and then there’s her human friend Luke: sunny, blond, and annoyingly likeable. There are lots of interesting books. There’s even the chance Elliot might be able to change the world.

In Other Lands is the exhilarating new book from beloved and bestselling author Sarah Rees Brennan. It’s a novel about surviving four years in the most unusual of schools, about friendship, falling in love, diplomacy, and finding your own place in the world — even if it means giving up your phone.

Early Reader Reaction

"Four years in the life of an unloved English schoolboy who’s invited to a secret magical school and learns that even in fantasyland, real life is messier than books. . . . But over the course of four years training among child soldiers, Elliot, unsurprisingly, grows up. His slow development into a genuinely kind person is entirely satisfying, as is his awakening to his own bisexuality and to the colonialism, sexism, and racism of Borderlands society. . . . A stellar . . . wholly rewarding journey."

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Elliot Schafer is a small-for-his-age 13-year-old who is prone to being bullied—largely due to his personality, which slots somewhere between insufferable know-it-all and sarcastic jackass. When Elliot’s class travels to a 'random field in Devon, England' for a supposed scholarship test, he instead winds up in a strange world known as the Borderlands, which are filled with elves, mermaids, and other creatures. So begins Brennan’s hilarious, irreverent, and multilayered coming-of-age fantasy, set over several years. Elliot quickly befriends (and falls for) Serene, a fierce elven warrior, and arranges a reluctant truce with Luke Sunborn, the son of one of the Borderland’s founding families. All three—along with every young person there—are training in war or as councilors, charged with protecting the fragile barrier with the human world. Amid shifting relationships, the threat of war, and substantial growth among the characters, Elliot’s razor-edged wit and general inability to keep his mouth shut make for blissfully entertaining reading. Smart explorations of gender stereotypes, fluid sexuality, and awkward romance only add to the depth and delight of this glittering contemporary fantasy."

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"I have rewritten the first paragraph of this review a half-dozen times, trying to find some way to make clear that Sarah Rees Brennan has created a nearly perfect YA fantasy without gushing. I can’t do it. In Other Lands is brilliantly subversive, assuredly smart, and often laugh-out-loud funny. It combines a magic-world school setting with heaps of snark about everything from teen romance to gender roles, educational systems and serious world diplomacy."

— Colleen Mondor, Locus

"Brennan brilliantly turns the very genre she occupies on its head with this YA fantasy. In her latest, the human who falls into a magic world isn’t a strong, beautiful, charismatic hero. It is Elliot, a hero who might annoy, but who is also the most intensely relatable character to emerge from fantasy lately. For anyone who has ever wondered how they would fare in the fantasy worlds they enjoy reading about, In Other Lands is a novel that might answer that question. Even though Elliot is never painted as a prodigy at any of the new things he encounters, Brennan allows him to be heroic, and in the end, all the happiness he may receive feels earned."

RT Book Reviews (4 stars)

“Brennan delivers witty, nervy, romantic adventure that fizzes with feeling and giddy imagination.”

— Leigh Bardugo, bestselling author of Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom

"A subversive, sneaky, glorious tale of magic, longing, and growing into your wings."

— Holly Black, author of The Darkest Part of the Forest

"In Other Lands is a stunning example of Sarah Rees Brennan's style; her characters are hysterically funny with complex and nuanced inner lives that could break a reader's heart. Elliot, cranky and obnoxious teen that he is, desperately longs to be loved best by someone, but covers with immense sarcasm and general unkindness. Luke and Serene, both exceptionally talented and good-looking, also struggle with feeling displaced. The depiction of misandry in Elf culture is one of the funniest concepts that Rees Brennan has come up, and even that she turns into a deeper lesson for Serene, Elliot, and Luke. In Other Lands can come off as a parody of fantasy, but it delves deep into issues of race, gender, sexuality, and war, and absolutely nails the struggles and triumphs of growing up."

— Sami Thomason, Square Books

Praise for Sarah Rees Brennan's books:

“Breathtaking—a compulsive, rocketing read.”

—Tamora Pierce, New York Times bestselling author

“Writing with fine control and wit, Sarah Rees Brennan pits an underworld society against privileged overlords. The young golden-haired heroine sparring with her rich boyfriend and his dark-souled shadow-twin lends wry and sexy human interest to the depiction of political struggle. I suspect that word of this magical thriller will pass through the populace with the energy of wind, of fire.”

— Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and Egg and Spoon

“From the pitch-perfect opening paragraph, to the heartbreaking final pages . . . delicious.”

Kirkus (starred review)

“A sparkling fantasy that will make you laugh and break your heart.”

— Cassandra Clare, New York Times bestselling author

“A darkly funny, deliciously thrilling Gothic.”

— Kelley Armstrong, New York Times bestselling author

“Readers will laugh, shiver, and maybe even swoon over this modern Gothic novel.”

— Melissa Marr, New York Times bestselling author

“Brennan takes the genres of young adult, fantasy, and romance, and through her own writerly, alchemical process converts them into something new and strange and lovely.”

— Kelly Link, author of Get in Trouble

“A laugh-out-loud delight.”

Publishers Weekly

“. . . a charming protagonist — full of vinegar and spice. Fans of romantic fantasy will devour it.”


“Punctuated throughout with keen humor and heartbreaking emotional resonance, it’s a stunner.”

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)

“This dark-fantasy-meets-romance will have readers hooked.”

The Horn Book

Cover and interior illustrations by Carolyn Nowak.

Booklovers earn $1.45 in rewards when purchasing this title


  • Title: In Other Lands
  • Author: Sarah Rees Brennan, Carolyn Nowak
  • Publisher: Small Beer Press
  • ISBN: 9781618731203
  • Length: 1.38 inch
  • Width: 5.5 inch
  • Languages: English
  • Ages: 12+


22/09/2018 3:51:08 PM - Cal's Constant Raving Rev
My New Favourite!
Read more bookish goodness on my book blog: Cal's Constant Raving Reviews This book was amazing. I was put off the first page, as it was suddenly so abstract and disorienting. But once you settle into the writing and the world, you come to find it's such a soothing and well-told story. I have added this to my favourites list because I adore it so much. I will add, however, if you're expecting mermaids, don't read this. The mermaid realm plays little importance to the land-focused drama being told. MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE BOOK: I was immediately engaged with this beautiful tale. Every time I picked this book up, I felt like I was swallowed into the world and inside the kids' camp. Similar to how you feel whenever Percy returned to Camp Half-Blood. Albeit, I was confused with the first page. But once my imagination opened up to the idea of breaking the laws of reality, I thoroughly enjoyed the piece. CHARACTERS/DYNAMICS: Elliot: Elliot is not easy to warm up to. He was abandoned by his mother at a young age, and his father is completely checked-out for any sort of parental care. Elliot struggles to find anywhere to belong; whether it's in the human and non-human realms. To add to the confusion, Elliot is bisexual. The defining of his sexuality isn't complex at all; it was simply trying to navigate relationships in general that Elliot struggled with. For years he pined over Serene, his best friend (and love of his life). In later years, it was boys and girls and rebound-girls. I was surprised that Elliot and Serene had sex at such a young age (14!). I did appreciate how mature Elliot was, throughout the entire story from age 12-17. It's refreshing for authors to depict teenagers with the same amount of complexity, while still giving them the rationale that any normal person would relate to (i.e. not making your main characters into the hero complex). Serene: Serene was so crucial until age 14 (so only 2-3 years of this books' lifespan, which covers ages 12-17). I was disappointed where her character leads, but in those first few years, it was phenomenal to see her as the caricature to the ridiculous logic of the patriarchy. It was absolutely gold. I hope I can find some quotes so you can all understand just how spot on her character is. Luke: Brennan did such a great job at antagonising Luke at the beginning. I genuinely saw him as Elliot's threat. Luke, as the clear OTP love interest for Elliot, was an excellent slow-burn romantic lead. Luke's nature is so fragile and careful; it really made me swoon. Oh god, I'm turning into all those gushing girls from the camp. But I don't want him for me-- I saw him so perfect for Elliot. @SARAH REES BRENNAN, WHY DID WE GET MORE WITH ELLIOT AND LUKE?!? I was expecting them to get together after Serene and Elliot did. But no. The slow-burn is cruel but addictive. PLOT: Elliot gets pulled into a magical realm. He studies there every year, like at Hogwarts, then returns to his home in the human world. Each year we see the golden trio; Elliot, Serene and Luke, grow. It was so satisfying to see. I wish each of those years were made into a single book, just like Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and The Lightning Thief. Luke's mum, Rachel, was a great Mrs Weasley Copycat (who likes to have an open relationship with her husband). Her support and love for Elliot made me want to cry. Elliot's had nobody his entire life. Then this surrogate-mother comes in and embraces him!!! The feels!!! STRUCTURE: Each year of Elliot's life is a section of the book. This book has no chapters, simply the school years. It begins at the start of each school term and ends after his summer break. So we actually get to see what Elliot's up to when he's not in the Borderlands. It was perfect. I just wish each section was one entire book. THEMES: - Love; platonic, romantic, parental, and self. - Belonging - High fantasy - Sexism; misandry and the interplays of our society's patriarchy. QUOTES: aka time for all of Serene's lines "'The woman goes through the physically taxing and bloody experience of childbirth. A woman’s experience of blood and pain is, naturally, what makes women-kind particularly suited for the battlefield. Whereas, men are the softer sex, squeamish about blood in the main.'" "'Hello,' said the beautiful elven maid. 'I was just thinking, and I mean no offence, but—how can any fighting force crowded with the softer sex hope to prevail in battle?' 'Huh?' said Elliot, brilliantly. 'The softer what?' 'I refer to men,” said the elf girl. 'Naturally, I was aware the Border guard admitted men, and I support men in their endeavour to prove they are equal to women, but their natures are not warlike, are they?'" THE ENDING: I am unsatisfied with the ending. We never truly see how Luke and Elliot will go. I wish we had less of Serene, and more of Luke for the ending! IMPACT: I am going to buy this book. I will fall asleep with this book by my side. I love it so much. I will be hugging it for the rest of the week. Thank you to GR Choice Awards 2017 for showing me this book. It's a new favourite. Read this book if you adored the Golden Trios and their schools from HP and PJO; but you needed more romance. This should hit the spot!


Delivery options: Shipping to an Australian address

Order as many items as you want for one low delivery fee per order to an address in Australia. Sometimes not all items in your order are available for shipment at the same time, and items may be delivered separately. If we need to do this there is no extra charge to you.

  Service Price per order
Flat rate Australia wide
Delivery time^
After dispatch
  Shipping - Saver Delivery Saver Delivery (Tracked)
via Australia post
$6.99 2-10 days
  Shipping - Express Delivery Express Delivery#~ (Tracked)
via StarTrack Express
$9.99 1-2 days

The expected delivery time period after the order has been dispatched via your chosen delivery method.
+ All our estimates are based on business days and assume that shipping and delivery don't occur on holidays and weekends.
# Express is not available on all items.
~ Please note this service does not override the status timeframe "Dispatches in", and that the "Usually Dispatches In” timeframe still applies to all orders.


When will my book be dispatched from your warehouse?

Once we receive your order we verify it, complete invoicing and prepare your item(s) before we dispatch them from our Sydney warehouse.

You will notice that each product page on the Web site includes an estimated delivery date range for Saver Delivery, as well as for Express Delivery if it is available for that product.

This Estimated Delivery date range is a combination of:

  • the time to dispatch your order from our warehouse, and
  • the time taken to ship your order to you.

In addition to the estimated delivery date range, on the product page you will find how long an item will take to be dispatched.

  Dispatch time
The time it takes to verify the order, complete invoicing, prepare your item(s) and dispatch.  
The dispatch time will depend on the status of your item(s) at our warehouse.  
Immediate download

Usually dispatches in Minutes

Digital downloads only

Dispatches next business day

Usually dispatches next business day+

In stock at our warehouse.

Dispatches in 4-5 business days

Usually dispatches in 4-5 business days+

Order ships directly from our supplier. Please Note: Deliveries of items with this status cannot be tracked. 

Dispatches in 5-14 business days

Usually dispatches in 5-14 business days+

Order placed with supplier, estimated arrival time to warehouse is 5-14 business days.

+ All our estimates are based on business days and assume that shipping and delivery don't occur on holidays and weekends.


When will my order arrive?

The Estimate Delivery Date is when your order is expected to arrive at your chosen delivery location.

Once you have submitted your order you will receive confirmation and status update emails.

  • If you order multiple items and they are not all in stock, we will advise you of their anticipated arrival times.
  • For items not readily available, we'll provide ongoing estimated ship and delivery time frames.
  • Once your order has been dispatched from our Sydney warehouse you will receive an Order Shipped status email. This will contain your tracking information

All our estimates are based on business days and assume that shipping and delivery don't occur on holidays and weekends.


Tracking delivery

Saver Delivery: Australia post

Australia Post deliveries can be tracked on route with eParcel. You can track your delivery by going to AusPost tracking and entering your tracking number - your Order Shipped email will contain this information for each parcel.

  • Delivery with Standard Australia Post usually happens within 2-10 business days from time of dispatch. Please be aware that the delivery time frame may vary according to the area of delivery and due to various reasons, the delivery may take longer than the original estimated timeframe.
  • If you have not received your delivery following the estimated timeframe, we advise you to contact your local post office first, as the parcel may be there awaiting your collection.
  • If you have not received any information after contact with Australia Post, please contact us to confirm that the details for delivery logged with us are correct. We will then contact you with the appropriate action.

Express Delivery via StarTrack Express

You can track your delivery by going to StartTrack tracking using your consignment number. The consignment number is emailed to you along with the invoice at the time of shipment.

  • Please be aware that the delivery time frame may vary according to the area of delivery - the approximate delivery time is usually between 1-2 business days.
  • For enquiries regarding the delivery of your order, contact Star Track Customer Service on 13 23 45 - and quote the above consignment number.
  • If you have not received any information after contact with Star Track, please contact us to confirm that the address for delivery logged with us are correct. We will then contact you with the appropriate action.

International delivery

To track orders sent by DHL, go to DHL tracking


International orders

Deliveries to destinations outside Australia are made by DHL courier, and cannot be made to post office boxes. Charges for international delivery destinations are available below. For international deliveries we will hold your order until we can send you all your items at once.

Parcel Weight New Zealand Hong Kong US & Canada United Kingdom

Up to 1kg














































If your order weighs more than 1.0kg (2.2lb, roughly equivalent to 1 or 2 paperbacks), we'll let you know what your delivery charge will be, and seek your approval before sending your order.

Please note that some countries may charge the recipient duties on the 'import' of parcels from time-to-time. As these charges are the responsibility of the recipient, please check the customs service in your destination country to see if charges are applicable.

To track orders sent by DHL, go to DHL tracking


Delivery restrictions

Remote areas: Please note that there may be a surcharge if shipping international orders to a remote area. You can check if the delivery address is in a remote area at DHL Remote Area Services.

Reshipping: If your order is returned to us by the delivery company due to incorrect or insufficient delivery details, you will be charged the cost of reshipping the order. Please note that if the delivery address is incorrect and the order has been shipped, depending on the delivery option selected we may not be able to change the delivery address until the order has been returned.


Problems with your delivery

In the event that the courier company fails to deliver your order due to invalid address information, they will return the order back to Dymocks Online.

Dymocks Online will do their best to ensure the information you have input is accurate. We cannot guarantee that your order will arrive at its destination if you have not provided correct address details and as much information as possible to assist the couriers when delivering e.g. company name, level, suite etc.

If your order has not yet been shipped you will need to send Dymocks Online an email advising the error and requesting a change in details. If your order has a status of "packed" or "shipped" we will not be able to guarantee any change in shipping details.

Unfortunately, you will be liable for any costs incurred in return to sender parcels if the information you provided was inaccurate.