Friday, September 11, 2009

Review: Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse

Summary: In a bustling metropolis where magic is outlawed, a six-year-old child is found inside a locked bank vault. A scrap of paper reveals his name: Bran Hambric. The child remembers nothing of his life before the vault. Only magic could have done this. But why would any mage risk breaking the law to place a child in a bank vault?

Eight years later the City of Dunce has forgotten about Bran. Even his foster parents don't seem to know he exists. But there are those who have been watching, biding their time, waiting to strike, people who know where Bran came from and why he was sent away. And they will do anything to get Bran back, dead or alive…

Welcome to a world unlike any other where the adventure of a lifetime is just beginning. -- Sourcebooks

I have been hearing about BRAN HAMBRIC: THE FARFIELD CURSE by Kaleb Nation
for quite a few months now. I thought I might score a copy of this novel at BEA back in May, but no such luck. So you can probably imagine how excited I was when I had to opportunity to participate in Sourcebooks' BRAN HAMBRIC book blog tour!

I never considered myself a fan of fantasy books, but like millions of other people, I discovered Harry Potter. And then everything changed -- I suddenly found myself liking fantasy/adventure books. I finished reading all seven of the Harry Potters books the day after the last one was released; and it was very bittersweet for me. I just didn't want the story to end and I missed the characters (although I admit that I'm not quite ready to start re-reading them.) Since that time, I've been looking for a book or series along the same lines -- a book that is just well...magical. I think I think I found a part of that very special magic in BRAN HAMBRIC!

I don't want to make BRAN HAMBRIC sound like it is a Harry Potter knock-off because it definitely isn't. I'm just saying that there are some similarities -- a young orphaned boy discovers he has magical powers; and the book made me have some of those same feelings I experienced while reading about Harry. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, and I fell in love with Bran. As an adult, I highly recommend this book to everyone -- parents and kids alike. The novel is probably geared towards middle grade readers; however, it would make an excellent read aloud book for the younger set.

At first, I thought I'd review this book and give you all of my opinions about it. And I guess I kind of did that briefly above; but the more I thought about it, I thought I'd tell you why I think children are going to love this book and why you should buy it for the kids in your life!

- Bran is a terrific character who has many redeeming traits. He is most definitely a hero figure, and kids are going to relate to him in so many ways. He is sensitive, smart, creative, loyal, resourceful, and even funny! I especially liked seeing his character mature as he discovered things about his past and his mother.

- BRAN HAMBRIC has some really terrific supporting characters. The author has created some very memorable characters, as well as some very funny ones. I found myself cracking up over Bran's guardians -- Sewey and his wife Mabel; and their kids were hilarious too! I also really liked Bran's new "magical" friends -- Astara and Adi as well as the gnome Polland. And since this book demonstrated good versus evil, there were also a fair share of scary, bad guys that made Bran's life miserable.

- BRAN HAMBRIC is a book that even reluctant readers are going to love. The book isn't long, but it isn't entirely short either -- it's about 350 pages. The book is fast-paced and filled with action and adventure -- it definitely doesn't read like a long book! I think even kids who aren't big fans of reading will love the story and be drawn back to it after they put it down. Plus, I think this book might even turn some kids into "real" readers because they are going to want more of Bran and his adventures. (It's always good to get kids hooked on something positive.)

- BRAN HAMBRIC is just a great story about good versus evil. I've mentioned that the storyline is very exciting, but there is also a mystery element to it. I know I was kept reading because I was dying to learn about the curse and Bran's mother's involvement in it. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the whole big magical element -- who isn't drawn to those things we can't explain? I love how the author created the magical creatures, the spells, the types of magic, and even the language. I thought it was all very creative and very well described!

Needless to say, I really enjoyed BRAN HAMBRIC and I can't wait for my daughter to read it! She doesn't think she's a big fan of fantasty books, but I have a feeling that Bran just might convert her. I highly recommend getting BRAN HAMBRIC: THE FARFIELD CURSE for a kid in your life. They are bound to be very grateful!

Check out these other tour stops:

Sunday, August 30th
Jenn’s Bookshelf
Homespun Light

Monday, August 31st
Dolce Bellezza
Bobbi’s Book Nook

Tuesday, September 1st The Looking Glass Review
Beth Fish Reads
SMS Book Reviews
James Holder’s YouTube Channel

Wednesday, September 2nd
Reading Rumpus
Katie’s Literature Lounge
Ultimate Bookhound

Thursday, September 3rd
Brimful Curiosities
Charlotte’s Library
Friday, September 4th
Bran Hambric by Kaleb Nation

Saturday, September 5th
Library Lounge Lizard
Sarah’s Random Musings

Sunday, September 6th
Cindy’s Love of Books

Monday, September 7th
Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf
Grasping for the Wind
Life After Twilight vlog channel

Tuesday, September 8th
Shooting Stars Magazine
Mrs. Magoo Reads
Lori Calabrese Writes
Wednesday, September 9th
The Brain Lair
The Children’s Book Review
TV Watch Online
Thursday, September 10th
The Friendly Book Nook
Book Journey
Stephanie’s Written Word
Home School Buzz

Friday, September 11th
The Inside Scoop With Chandelle
Saturday, September 12th
Zoe’s Book Reviews
Lit for Kids

Sunday, September 13th
Never Jam Today

A Bibliophile’s Reverie
Monday, September 14th
Café of Dreams
Marta’s Meanderings
A Book Blogger’s Diary
The Reader’s Quill

Tuesday, September 15th
a book in hand
Not Just for Kids
Wednesday, September 16th
Write for a Reader
Thursday, September 17th
Howling Good Books
The Written World
Friday, September 18th
Always Riddikulus
YA Books Central
Saturday, September 19th
Ms. Bookish
Into the Wardrobe

Thanks to the publisher for sending me an ARC of this terrific novel!


bermudaonion said...

I don't read a lot of fantasy either, but this book sounds really appealing to me. I can't wait to read it!

Beth F said...

Very nice review. I wasn't as taken with it as you, but I definitely think middle readers and younger will love Bran Hambric.

Belle said...

Nice review! I liked the humor that runs through the book - it created a slightly whimsical, almost Dahl-like atmosphere that was enjoyable.

Anonymous said...

My daughter really likes fantasy. This one sounds like one she'll enjoy.

Vanessa said...

Looks like I'll have to pick this one up for Phoebe. Sounds right up her alley!

Amy said...

Great review. I adore Harry Potter too and think I'll pick up a copy of this. Thanks!

Linda Nguyen said...

Great review. I've heard there's a lot of buzz for this book, and now I know why. Thanks for the recommendation. =)

Gwendolyn B. said...

I'm glad to get so much info on this book - we have a reluctant middle grade reader, and this sounds like a good choice for him! I think I'll like it, too.