Prentisstown, formerly known as New Elizabeth, is the main location of the book The Knife of Never Letting Go. It is Todd Hewitt's home town, and is named after Mayor Prentiss.


Prentisstown has a range of buildings including:

  • a shop
  • a pub
  • a clinic
  • a jail
  • a broken petrol station
  • the Mayor's house
  • the Police Station
  • the Church

A paved road runs through the centre of these buildings and farms surround it. A river runs along one side of Prentisstown which turns into swamp.


New Elizabeth was established by the first ship of settlers on New World and was named after their Mayor, Jessica Elizabeth. After the war against the Spackle, the men of Prentisstown didn't stop and turned against the women because they had no noise. Mayor Elizabeth predicted their attack and evacuated some girls and younger boys through the swamp. Before she, the women and the men who didn't want to kill them could escape, the men attacked. All men from Prentisstown were declared criminals and Mayor Prentiss sent word that the town will be in exile. The men of Prentisstown agreed never to leave and if they did, the Mayor would hunt them down and kill them. The real history of Prentisstown was witheld from the boys until their thirteenth birthday. It is Prentisstown Law that a boy becomes a man on his thirteenth birthday (and a girl became a woman, when there were women in Prentisstown).


The population of Prentisstown is 147 (146 men and 1 boy) as of the start of The Knife of Never Letting Go.

Residents of Prentisstown include:

  • Mayor Prentiss
  • Mr Prentiss Jr.
  • Bennison Moore
  • Cillian Boyd
  • Aaron
  • Todd Hewitt
  • Mr Hammar
  • Mr Morgan
  • Mr O'Hare
  • Mr Collins
  • Mr Edwin
  • Mr MacInerny
  • Mr Henratty
  • Mr Sullivan
  • Mr Cardiff
  • Mr Tate
  • Mr Kearney
  • Mr Gillooly
  • Mr Wallace
  • Mr Asbjornsen
  • Mr St James
  • Mr Belgraves
  • Mr Smith the Older
  • Mr Smith With Nine Fingers
  • Mr Smith the Younger (Liam Smith)
  • Mr Royal
  • Reg Oliver
  • Seb Mundy
  • Mr Phelps
  • Dr Baldwin
  • Mr Fox
  • Mr Turner
  • Mr Majoribanks
  • Mr Humphris