Literature / The Transall Saga

Gary Paulsen's The Transall Saga is a Speculative Fiction novel from 1998. The novel tells the story of Mark, a teenager who accidentally falls into a mysterious shaft of blue light while out hiking in a desert. Mark is transported to a mysterious world of mystery, featuring alien animals, biologically human humans, including an arrogant spitfire Princess with a heart of gold, and Mark's particular antagonist, the mysterious Merkon.


  • Apocalypse How: Class 1; see The Plague below.
  • Badass Grandpa: More like a Badass Dad, but Sarbo is alot older than Mark and still manages to kick some serious ass.
  • Bittersweet Ending: After spending pretty much the whole book searching for the blue light that brought him there, Mark realizes he's never going to be able to find the blue light again. So, he decides he's content with this life, goes back to the village and proposes marriage to Megaan. A few chapters later, the Merkon's son leads an attack on the village. Mark leads them away and when he gets caught in an ambush, Mark is hit by the blue light and transported back to his own time. However, during the epilogue, it is implied that he may be presented with the opportunity to go back.
  • Depopulation Bomb
  • Earth All Along
  • Like a Duck Takes to Water: Due to being somewhat of a survivalism enthusiast back home, Mark is able to not only survive being stranded in an alien environment, but work his way up from primitive to slave to warrior to almost marrying the chieftain's daughter. As you do.
  • Ontological Mystery: While Mark figures out that it was the blue light that took him to Transall, he has no idea how to find it again or any other means to get home.
  • Planetary Romance
  • The Plague: An outbreak of an Ebola-like disease is one of the reasons that there are so few people, and for their mutations.
    • That with the combination of all the weapons launched during the outbreaks.
  • Tsundere: Megaan.
  • There Is Another: The Merkon is from modern-era Earth too. He escaped from an Arizona prison in The '80s.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Mark does this repeatedly.