On the third night of the third month in 2003, fourteen-year-old Kaleb Nation suddenly imagined a boy and a banker on a roof, waiting for a burglar to come. From that original idea was born the story of Bran Hambric, a novel that would take most of Kaleb’s teenage years to write.
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.
In the wake of Harry Potter, we are among a slew of writers being published who are perfectly happy to let their creativity run wild. There are gnomes, magicians, an evil being possessed by an unlikely person, a secret room in the back of a bookstore, and a city where magic is outlawed. Kaleb Nation has promised readers a fun adventure in an interesting world, and he delivers wonderfully. And this book just feels like the tip of the iceberg. There are forthcoming sequels, and I'm hoping for an even deeper look into the bizarre Dunceland. One minor complaint: I'd appreciate a little less screen time from the undesirable family Bran lives with. Their characters get a bit grating after a while.
My rating: 9/10. I am confident Kaleb Nation has a great career ahead of him.
Coming Soon: Leven Thumps and the Ruins of Alder, Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles (full serial review), and as I promised, the start of a new set of reviews.