The Farfield Curse (Bran Hambric Series #1)

( 109 )

Overview

The Farfield Curse brims with mystery, magic, and fun. Kaleb Nation's wry sense of humor kept me smiling, even while the mystical sparks flew.
Get ready for lots of surprises and watch out for gnomes!

D.J. MacHale, Author of the Pendragon Series

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 ...

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Overview

The Farfield Curse brims with mystery, magic, and fun. Kaleb Nation's wry sense of humor kept me smiling, even while the mystical sparks flew.
Get ready for lots of surprises and watch out for gnomes!

D.J. MacHale, Author of the Pendragon Series

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.

Getting to know Kaleb Nation:

Sourcebooks: How did the idea for the story of Bran Hambric first come to you?
Kaleb Nation: I was fourteen and lying in bed, staring at the ceiling and thinking of an entirely different story I was working on (I was homeschooled and my mom gave me lots of creative writing assignments). Suddenly, out of nowhere, I imagined a boy and a banker waiting on a rooftop for a burglar. For some reason, the image struck me, so that I almost immediately knew the background: this boy had been left behind years before, the burglar was coming for him, and the city outlawed magic. I also knew that it was a fantasy world but in a modern setting.
I immediately got up and wrote down a few pages of notes so I wouldn't forget, and also wrote in my journal in the dark that I'd finally had "the idea." The date was 3/3/03. The time was 9:55 p.m.

SB: You're currently a college student, living in Dallas, Texas. Where are you from?
KN: I was born and lived in Round Rock, Texas, until 2003. I started writing the book here, and can remember the house and location perfectly. The surroundings were influential to certain locations in the book. Also, the Round Rock Public Library was a huge influence. In 2003, we moved to Bastrop, Texas, where I finished the novel and signed with my agent and publisher.

SB: Besides being a college student and first-time author, what are your other hobbies?
KN: I blog regularly at KalebNation.com, and I run TwilightGuy.com, a site revolving around the Twilight book series, which receives about 10,000 hits per day.

I also have my own YouTube channel (youtube.com/kalebnation) where I create video blogs and content for about 22,000 subscribers. I also enjoy making music with my computer, mainly instrumental and soundtrack scores. I have composed a soundtrack for the novel (you can hear many of the tracks at http://www.kalebnation.com/music). This has received a lot of attention, with over 20,000 plays on YouTube. I have plans to offer the soundtrack for free download to promote the novel.

SB: When people ask you what Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse is about, what do you tell them?
KN: Bran Hambric was found locked in a bank vault at six years old, with no memory of his past. For years, he has lived with one of the bankers, wondering why he was left behind—until one night, when he is fourteen, he is suddenly confronted by a maddened creature, speaking of Bran's true past and trying to kidnap him. Bran finds that he is at the center of a plot that started years before he was even born: the plot of a deadly curse his mother created…and one that her former masters are hunting for him to complete. Haunted by the spirit of his mother's master and living in a city where magic is illegal, Bran must undo the crimes of his past, before it is too late.

SB: How long did it take you to write Bran Hambric?
KN: The first novel took most of my teenage years to complete—about six years.

SB: Did the book entail any unusual writing habits or places?
KN: I originally wrote almost five hundred pages of the book in six to nine months, which is the fastest I've ever done, just to get it all out. Then, I spent the next four years completely rewriting the book multiple times until I was able to bring the story out correctly. This turned into two boxes and two drawers full of papers, forming The Farfield Curse and notes for five sequels. Many of the street names in the book came from a graveyard we passed when I was fifteen (I quickly wrote down as many names as I could from the car).

In the beginning, I would write chapters of the book on my tiny monochrome Palm Pilot while taking care of my baby brother during naps. Palm Pilot typing, I will note, is very, very slow. I once had an idea in the grocery store (I can remember specifically which store) where I had no paper, and had to outline the scene on a spare grocery bag. I still have the bag, and the scene is still in the book.

SB: In discussing your book with friends, what have they found most intriguing?
KN: The biggest grab I've found is the "magic crime" aspect, which I don't feel has been explored much in other books. The idea that Bran's parents were criminals, and even more so of magic, seems to grip interest. People also seem to enjoy that it is in another world yet very similar in ways to our own.

SB: Are there any lessons to be learned from your book?
KN: I think my book tells the power of choice: Bran's mother chose to sacrifice any good within her for great power. Bran, however, chooses a different path, despite being predisposed to it by his own mother. A theme of "choice" and how our choices affect others runs throughout many parts of the book.

SB: How do you think your story might influence other kids who like to write and/or want to write a book?
KN: My dream as a young teenager was to become published. Through these years, I idolized other authors, watching every documentary or video of a book signing I could find on YouTube. Somehow, after years of writing and rewriting, everything worked out in the end. I have received countless letters from teens and even adults saying my journey has influenced them to start writing, which is really the biggest payoff of everything. Even though the journey started off rough in the beginning, with a lot of effort, it all worked out in the end, and I'm finally getting to live my dream. I think my story can help other kids realize that their dream of becoming a writer can come true, if they're willing to work hard for it.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
A six-year-old child, his only history a scrap of paper with his name (Bran Hambric), is found inside a securely locked vault in a large city bank. He grows into a strapping teenager, remembering nothing before the vault, mostly forgotten even by his foster parents. But elsewhere, Bran is not only remembered; he is sought by those who want him back. dead or alive…
From the Publisher
""...the author tucks in promisingly clever touches (magical power is measured in 'witts,' and weak mages are dubbed 'dimwitts') and has a knack for crafting violent, quickly paced chases and fights." -Kirkus" - Kirkus
Publishers Weekly
Newcomer Nation makes his debut with this whimsical addition to the “magical orphan” genre, starring the eponymous Bran Hambric, found at age six inside a locked bank vault in the magic-hating city of Dunce. Raised by the banker who found him, Bran leads a normal life until he’s almost 14, at which point a series of events turn his existence upside down. At times quirky, at other times absurd, this story’s similarities to Harry Potter (the discovery of magical abilities, the dark overlord opponent who seeks to transcend death, the “normal” but neglectful adoptive family that raises the hero) leave it hovering between entertaining and derivative. The idea of a city that outlaws magic, in a world filled with gnomes and mages, is a concept that’s filled with potential. However, it suffers from a cutesy tone (though there are some dark moments) and supporting characters whose roles as comic relief border on parody. While it may appeal to those at the younger end of its target audience, more mature readers are less likely to be drawn into the story. Ages 9–12. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
Gr 6–9—Bran Hambric is a foundling, left in a bank vault and taken in by Sewey and Mabel Wilomas, who live in the town of Dunce. In an effort to preserve the decency of the community, the town has banned even the mere mention of magic. During a harrowing accident involving a truck at the Duncelander Fair, Bran discovers that he is a mage. He also has to face the difficult truth that his mother was a mage as well as a criminal, in league with an underground group with a rather gruesome plan to overthrow the Mages Council. Bran discovers that people are trying to find him so that they can use him to help finish the job she started. This book is a clear reflection of the influence of the "Harry Potter" books on a new generation of writers. Sadly, the author's attempts at creative language and original ideas come across as silly. Nation creates a contemporary world that is a tool for social satire, but that feels flat and uninteresting. Beyond quirks of dialogue, he gives no real sense of who the characters really are, so it is difficult to have any empathy when they are injured or appear to have died.—Tim Wadham, St. Louis County Library, MO
Kirkus Reviews
Yet another journeyman fantasy composed by a teenage author. Wavering back and forth between labored farce and conventional bildungsroman, Nation's debut casts 14-year-old Bran as a parentless lad ignorant of his vast magical gifts being raised by the Dursleys-er, a caricatured unmagical family-who treat him like a servant. Having been attacked by a crazed stranger, followed by a mysterious black van and led to a hidden library of magic textbooks, Bran comes to realize that all is not as it seems in the magic-hating town of Dunce. As it turns out, he is a horcrux-er, repository-for the spirit of Voldemort-er, Baslyn-an incompletely dead dark magician. Though still an amateur wordsmith ("His teeth were tightened together, feeling angry and betrayed . . . ") the author tucks in promisingly clever touches (magical power is measured in "witts," and weak mages are dubbed "dimwitts") and has a knack for crafting violent, quickly paced chases and fights. He doesn't lack for ambition either, with a soundtrack already composed and notes for five sequels in the hopper. That ambition outstrips his skill; look for better work down the line. (Fantasy. 11-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402218576
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/9/2009
  • Series: Bran Hambric Series , #1
  • Pages: 464
  • Age range: 11 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 810L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 8.18 (h) x 1.44 (d)

Meet the Author

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.
Aside from writing, Kaleb is a blogger and former radio host. He turned twenty in 2008 and currently lives in Texas.
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Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from the Prologue

THE NIGHT WAS COLD AND DEAD, AND SO FELT CLARENCE'S HEART.

He dashed through the darkness, never stopping, always watchful for the men—every passing car making him leap back into the shadows of the trees lining the abandoned rural highway. His form was hardly more than a shadow, sweating even in the cold, his face bruised and scarred. With every second that passed, he knew they were coming; and with every step, he knew they were gaining on him.

He darted through the mist and onto a side street with no houses or people, lined with thick walls of rock on both sides. His eyes swept the road, watchful for the lights of police cars or of the vans he knew were following him. He was worn from a night of running, but he couldn't stop. He had to get to the city before they found him. Or worse, before they found Bran…

Suddenly, there was a burst of light behind him, coming over the hill. He spun, and his eyes flashed, the noise startling him for a second—but only a second, as he heard the engine roar and saw the shape of a black van rushing after him.

"No!" he gasped, and he took off in the other direction, hearing the van blast in pursuit. The road was cut through the rocks, and the rising walls blocked him from going into the woods. His shadow was thrown ahead of him, the headlights burning the sweat on his neck. He ran faster, panting for breath, his heart pounding and his feet slapping against the pavement.

Ahead of him there was a flash of motion, a squeal of tires, and a second black van shot out of the shadows, skidding and coming from the other direction. He shouted and turned to run the other way, stopping and spinning back as the first van slid after him, blocking his escape as the other cornered him in. Clarence ran to the wall of rock, digging his fingers into the cracks to climb, to find any way to escape, but falling to the pavement when he found he could not.

The vans stood still and foreboding, the intense headlights trained on his form against the wall, blinding his eyes as he crouched over. He held up his hands to shield his face and heard the doors burst open, two men coming from behind the cover of the windows, their pistols trained on him. He stiffened and held his hands up in terror, and out of the second van came two others, bald and strong, their faces emotionless and their forms hidden by black coats that swept as far as the ground. Each held in his hand a black wand of metal, and Clarence trembled under their gazes, almost feeling the torturous magic coursing through his body again.

The side door of the van opened slowly, and Clarence whimpered, pressing himself against the rocks. All was still as the last man came from the darkness, standing in front of the others. Clarence looked up at him weakly—the man's face was rough, his hair light and to his shoulders, power behind his eyes. His clothes were torn and bloody, as were those of the others. Clarence counted them in the light. There were only five…the police must have caught the rest.

"Running away so soon, are we?" the man said in a soft tone that held poison behind it. Clarence only covered his eyes.

"Wouldn't stick around to help clean up, would you?" the man said louder. "Already tired of the project just because the police break in?"

"Farfield is over…" Clarence managed to hiss, hardly able to breathe. He looked up. "You've already failed, Joris," he choked. "The police are onto all of you. Baslyn is dead, his spirit is gone…and Emry will hide her son well enough so you'll never bring him back."

"But you know where she's taking him," Joris said, and Clarence jerked his head away, refusing to speak. Very slowly, Joris stepped for­ward, his form covering the headlights and casting a shadow down upon Clarence.

"You know where he is, don't you?" Joris said, his voice unrelenting. Clarence whimpered, shaking his head. No…he wouldn't tell. He would not betray Emry.

"I-I don't know where she's taking him," Clarence stammered, fighting against the fear that threatened to consume him.

Joris narrowed his eyes disbelievingly. "Well then," he said, "we'll just have to…convince you to tell us then, won't we?"

"I won't," Clarence whimpered. "I can't break my promise—the boy is gone. Farfield is over."

Joris gave a dry smile, and he leaned down so close his whisper was loud in Clarence's ear.

"Farfield isn't over yet," he hissed. "We're going to find Bran Hambric, and we're going to bring him back."

A freezing wind blew across the alley where Emry Hambric had parked her car. Her windows were down and the cold chilled her face—but nothing chilled her more than the sudden feeling of dread that crawled across her skin.

"Clarence…" she whispered. Something was desperately wrong. He should have been there by now. She glanced into the back seat: in it was the limp body of a small, six-year-old boy, the boy who was her son. Just looking at his face tore a hole through her heart.

"I'm sorry," was all she could say. If only it could take back years of mistakes, so that maybe she wouldn't be there, running from all she had done—knowing that if she could have lived a few more weeks, she might see herself turn twenty-seven, but knowing in her heart she would not even see the next sunrise. Emry never cried, always the strongest—always pretending to be the strongest. But now, as she looked back on her life, and looked down at the child she loved so much, tears grew in the corners of her eyes. She would never see him again.

"I won't let them get you," she whispered. "I promise."
But just as that whisper left her lips, she felt a start within her and jerked her gaze up, out the back window. She had sensed something move—a shadow, or rather the feeling of a shadow, moving her way, watching her. Someone was coming. And Emry knew who it was.

"She's found me…" Emry whispered. She thought she would be safe in Dunce. No mage would follow her in there, none of the police from outside either. But she could feel the woman approaching, and she jerked her eyes back to her son. It was too late to run—she'd have to send him elsewhere. Her senses came like a force wrenching her around, telling her she couldn't waste another second. She jerked around quickly, searching the floor for something to write on: it was empty, not even a spare receipt or a strip of cloth.

She tried her pockets and finally found something: an old scrap from earlier that day, with part of something else still at the bottom. She didn't have time to find anything else, and quickly scribbled her note on it.

"This is all I have to give you," she whispered, stuffing it into his fist and closing his fingers around it. She knew he wouldn't remember anything—her magic was strong enough for that. But the least she could give him was the note.

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Table of Contents

Prologue

Part I
Chapter 1: Strange Happenings on Bolton Road
Chapter 2: Chasing Shadows in the Dark
Chapter 3: The Creature and His Master
Chapter 4: The Note in the Grass
Chapter 5: The Man, the Van, and Dan
Chapter 6: Secret Letters
Chapter 7: Sewey Wilomas versus the Oncoming Train
Chapter 8: The Duncelander Fair
Chapter 9: The Box in the Bookstore
Chapter 10: Inside the Hidden Room
Chapter 11: Another Burglary
Chapter 12: The Telephone Call

Part II
Chapter 13: Burglars on Third Street
Chapter 14: The Man at the Tavern
Chapter 15: The Name on the Necklace
Chapter 16: A Path in the Woods
Chapter 17: Noises in the Kitchen
Chapter 18: The Man beneath the House
Chapter 19: The House on Hadnet Lane
Chapter 20: The Gnome in the Home
Chapter 21: A Room behind the Bookshelf
Chapter 22: The Truth
Chapter 23: The Face in the Mirrors

Part III
Chapter 24: The Girl from the Alley
Chapter 25: Lopsis Volgitix
Chapter 26: The Goodbye
Chapter 27: The Escape of Rosie Tuttle
Chapter 28: The Garage
Chapter 29: Inside the Black Van
Chapter 30: Fire and Books

Part IV
Chapter 31: Into the City
Chapter 32: The Spirit Awakens
Chapter 33: The Farfield Curse
Chapter 34: The Battle on Farfield Tower
Chapter 35: Clarence
Chapter 36: The Grave of Emry Hambric

Epilogue
About the Author

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Interviews & Essays

Getting to know Kaleb Nation:

Sourcebooks: How did the idea for the story of Bran Hambric first come to you?

Kaleb Nation: I was fourteen and lying in bed, staring at the ceiling and thinking of an entirely different story I was working on (I was homeschooled and my mom gave me lots of creative writing assignments). Suddenly, out of nowhere, I imagined a boy and a banker waiting on a rooftop for a burglar. For some reason, the image struck me, so that I almost immediately knew the background: this boy had been left behind years before, the burglar was coming for him, and the city outlawed magic. I also knew that it was a fantasy world but in a modern setting.

I immediately got up and wrote down a few pages of notes so I wouldn't forget, and also wrote in my journal in the dark that I'd finally had "the idea." The date was 3/3/03. The time was 9:55 p.m.

SB: You're currently a college student, living in Dallas, Texas. Where are you from?

KN: I was born and lived in Round Rock, Texas, until 2003. I started writing the book here, and can remember the house and location perfectly. The surroundings were influential to certain locations in the book. Also, the Round Rock Public Library was a huge influence. In 2003, we moved to Bastrop, Texas, where I finished the novel and signed with my agent and publisher.

SB: Besides being a college student and first-time author, what are your other hobbies?

KN: I blog regularly at KalebNation.com, and I run TwilightGuy.com, a site revolving around the Twilight book series, which receives about 10,000 hits per day.

I also have my own YouTube channel (youtube.com/kalebnation) whereI create video blogs and content for about 22,000 subscribers. I also enjoy making music with my computer, mainly instrumental and soundtrack scores. I have composed a soundtrack for the novel (you can hear many of the tracks at http://www.kalebnation.com/music). This has received a lot of attention, with over 20,000 plays on YouTube. I have plans to offer the soundtrack for free download to promote the novel.

SB: When people ask you what Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse is about, what do you tell them?

KN: Bran Hambric was found locked in a bank vault at six years old, with no memory of his past. For years, he has lived with one of the bankers, wondering why he was left behind-until one night, when he is fourteen, he is suddenly confronted by a maddened creature, speaking of Bran's true past and trying to kidnap him. Bran finds that he is at the center of a plot that started years before he was even born: the plot of a deadly curse his mother created . . . and one that her former masters are hunting for him to complete. Haunted by the spirit of his mother's master and living in a city where magic is illegal, Bran must undo the crimes of his past, before it is too late.

SB: How long did it take you to write Bran Hambric?

KN: The first novel took most of my teenage years to complete-about six years.

SB: Did the book entail any unusual writing habits or places?

KN: I originally wrote almost five hundred pages of the book in six to nine months, which is the fastest I've ever done, just to get it all out. Then, I spent the next four years completely rewriting the book multiple times until I was able to bring the story out correctly. This turned into two boxes and two drawers full of papers, forming The Farfield Curse and notes for five sequels. Many of the street names in the book came from a graveyard we passed when I was fifteen (I quickly wrote down as many names as I could from the car).

In the beginning, I would write chapters of the book on my tiny monochrome Palm Pilot while taking care of my baby brother during naps. Palm Pilot typing, I will note, is very, very slow. I once had an idea in the grocery store (I can remember specifically which store) where I had no paper, and had to outline the scene on a spare grocery bag. I still have the bag, and the scene is still in the book.

SB: In discussing your book with friends, what have they found most intriguing?

KN: The biggest grab I've found is the "magic crime" aspect, which I don't feel has been explored much in other books. The idea that Bran's parents were criminals, and even more so of magic, seems to grip interest. People also seem to enjoy that it is in another world yet very similar in ways to our own.

SB: Are there any lessons to be learned from your book?

KN: I think my book tells the power of choice: Bran's mother chose to sacrifice any good within her for great power. Bran, however, chooses a different path, despite being predisposed to it by his own mother. A theme of "choice" and how our choices affect others runs throughout many parts of the book.

SB: How do you think your story might influence other kids who like to write and/or want to write a book?

KN: My dream as a young teenager was to become published. Through these years, I idolized other authors, watching every documentary or video of a book signing I could find on YouTube. Somehow, after years of writing and rewriting, everything worked out in the end. I have received countless letters from teens and even adults saying my journey has influenced them to start writing, which is really the biggest payoff of everything. Even though the journey started off rough in the beginning, with a lot of effort, it all worked out in the end, and I'm finally getting to live my dream. I think my story can help other kids realize that their dream of becoming a writer can come true, if they're willing to work hard for it.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 109 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(88)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 109 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2012

    Awesome book

    This book was really really really good. It was well written and very exciting. I can't wait to read the next one!!!!!!!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2011

    Loved it!

    This book was so fun to read. I never wanted to put it down when I read it. This book is a good read and I would recommend for 5-9 grades.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2011

    Extremely good book

    The Farfield Curse is very magical and well written. I highly recommend it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2011

    Information

    I have not read this book, but it sounds good. Help!! ( you can watch Kaleb Nation on You Tube.)

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2012

    Read

    Read the first one and i am DYING to read the second one 5 stars all the way! Bran hambric is action packed and filled with magic and adventure

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2012

    Awsome!

    Great book! Just sad shambles had to die :(

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2012

    Bran Hambric is AWESOME!!!

    I love Bran Hambric soooo Much I wonder if Kaleb is going to make a 3rd one...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    One of my all time favorites.

    I loved this book so much. It reminded me of harry potter in a way. Although it was completly different from any other book I have read. I loved the characters of the book, they always kept me laughing. The dialouge between characters was genious. I can't wait for the next book of the series to come out.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2009

    Bran Hambric: the Farfield Curse

    Bran Hambric written by Kaleb Nation is by far the best book I've ever read. The twists and turns and the funny imagination of the writer is just truely amazing and it fills our imagination with a new perspective. I highly reccomend this book if you're interested in fantasy and magic.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Mysterious Mage

    Nation has constructed an interesting and imaginative world in Bran Hambric. It's Potter-esque lore of magic and mysticism is likely to enthrall the most reluctant of middle-grade and young adult aged readers.

    Where it falls a bit short, however, is segueing into the audience of adult readers which I whole-heartedly recognize is not it's purpose or goal. While the vivid imagery and creative characterizations make great strides in that direction the slower story-telling made it difficult to grab hold and really stay invested in the outcome. This is exemplified most in the heavy focus on the character of Sewey. A healthy amount of time was spent showcasing his curmudgeonly and grumpy nature - a point that was made several chapters in and would have sufficed. Moreover, what made this aspect more difficult to deal with was the fact that his constant presence didn't do much to further the main plot. Ultimately I struggled with the fact that this focus was time that could have been spent developing far more critical characters.

    In my humble opinion, a great place to focus some of that attention would have been in further developing Emry. Now, I caveat this by saying that the lack of true depth of focus on Emry may have been designed to keep the mystery of her involvement in the Farfield Curse alive..but, still there could have been more focus on her in a historical perspective so that the ultimate reveal at the end of the story was more powerful. The same holds true of characters involved in the Farfield aspect of the plot - more on Elspeth, Joris and other critical characters to the story of the Curse and it's role in Bran's life may have provided the reader more investment in the story earlier on.

    Speaking of the curse it took us over 2/3 of the book to really get deeper into that part of the story. This was a shame since it was the best and most thought provoking part of the novel. It is here that Nation found his stride as he revealed secrets long held back and allowed the reader to see how character's lives were truly intertwined. There were unexpected connections and surprising revelations that finally gave the reader that 'can't put it down' page turner aspect they longed for. It is in the chapters where Bran is in Farfield that the most compelling and enjoyable parts of the story are provided. Furthermore, Nation did an excellent job of making the mystery mysterious, I did not find myself predicting what was going to happen. The foreshadowing was subtle and kept the doors open for events to happen any number of ways. I appreciated that I wasn't lead through the story with my hand held the entire time.

    Nation's Bran Hambric series has enormous potential and despite what I personally found to be hurdles I can see the appeal of this book for it's target audience. I would certainly recommend this first book to middle graders and younger skewing young adults. Further, given the writing and plotting of the last 1/3 of this book I too am interested to see if the next book in Bran's story picks up where Nation found his stride in Farfield Curse.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2014

    I love it.

    I love it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2013

    Great

    This was a great book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2013

    Amazing

    Amazing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2013

    Looking for a good read? I recommend Bran Hambric: TheFarfield


    Looking for a good read? I recommend Bran Hambric: TheFarfield Curse by Kaleb Nation. He thinks it's great choice for fans of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and Fablehaven.
    Here's the lowdown: Bran’s mother was a criminal. Her crime was magic and magic,it seems, runs in the family. When Bran's mother gets involved with a sorcerer trying to make an evil curse, she hides her young son in a bank vault to protect him. She knows dark wizards will come after Bran because he has the power to finish the curse. Bran spends the next 8 years living with a banker's family in a town where magic is illegal. His step family mistreats him. But one day, thereis a break-in and Bran is given a clue about his mother. The clue leads him to discover his own magic powers. Bran has a destinyto fulfill--it could be for good or it could be for evil. Read the book to find out!

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  • Posted January 11, 2011

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    I Also Recommend:

    hmm...

    this book was....THE BEST BOOK EVER. ONE OF THE BEST I HAVE EVER READ. ITS FUNNY, SMART, AND FAST PACED. THE BEGINNING ISNT ALL THAT GREAT, BUT THE SUSPENSE AND ACTION LEAVES YOU BREATHLESS. THE CHARACTERS ARE GREAT, I REALLY THINK THAT ANYONE WHO IS CONSIDERING THIS BOOK SHOULD GET IT. IF YOU LIKE MYSTERY AND CRIME BOOKS, GET THIS. IF YOU LIKE ACTION, GET THIS, AND IF YOU LIKE ROMANCE...DONT GET THIS. BUT EITHER WAY, JUST GET IT CAUSE ITS WELL WORTH THE MONEY! THANK YOU KALEB!

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  • Posted January 1, 2011

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    I Also Recommend:

    Humorous and Full of Magic - A Great Read

    What Kaleb Nation has done with Bran Hambric is what all aspiring authors should aim for. The Farfield Curse is interesting, enthralling, and extremely well-written. Nation infuses his characters with so much life and heart that they leap off the pages.

    Bran instantly draws readers in with the mystery behind his story - who is he and why doesn't he remember anything from his childhood? He's intelligent and sarcastic and is surrounded by an insane family. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the Wilomas' and their strange behavior, eccentricities, and very stilted values. Sewey, Bran's father figure (if you can even call him that) does some of the most crazy things, but it makes the story that much more entertaining because I wouldn't put anything past him. The relationship between Bran and Rosie, the 'maid,' is so touching and caring. I loved reading their interactions.

    The city of Dunce is a magic-free zone, but signs of magic are all over the place. A favorite bit of the story for me was Dunce's need to be magic free, including hanging a sign outside the gates that states:
    no gnomes
    no mages
    etcetera
    A good number of jokes spring from this and I just loved how it was consistently tied into other aspects of the tale.

    Even though Dunce is magic-free, Nation brings boatloads of magic to the story. The book is split into four parts and had the beginning not been so funny and filled with crazy Wilomas doings, I may have been bored because the magic doesn't really begin until part two opens up. But once part two begins, magic takes hold of the story, in the best possible way.

    Kaleb Nation has melded this fantastical world with the very typical, everyday life in ways that work in perfect harmony. Bran Hambric took hold of my heart and never let go. So much so, that I'm more than eager to pick up the next book to see where the gnomes, mages, and etceteras lead to next.

    Opening line: The night was cold and dead, and so felt Clarence's heart. ~ pg. xiii

    Favorite lines: "You don't know.or maybe you do know how it feels to lose something that's so important to you, even when you've never had it, you miss it like your life is dependent on it." ~ pg. 286

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  • Posted June 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    BRINGING BACK THE MAGES!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks, to my dear friend Caleb during my plane trip to and from Florida, I got to read this novel. When I first read it, I was immediatley brought in by it's well written and captivating story line. It has all the proper makings to become the best seller it deserves to be. Another helpful thing about this novel is that you can take the joureny of how it's made on YouTube by watching Kaleb Nation (the author) vlogs (video logs) Even though, it has been 3, almost 4 months, I still remember the very beginning and the very end. I also remember him learning about it. The main charcter is very relatable too. The only disappointing part about the novel was the fact that had a very slow middle area, but the reason why (as I figured out thanks to my epic problem solving mind) because of him learning about who he truly is (a mage) and that is something that can take a long time, and can be a an adeventure itself. Thank you, Kaleb Nation for bringing back the wizards from the vampire phenomenon. And thank you Caleb, my friend, for letting me read your book while I was on vacation!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Posted February 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A fantastic unique book

    This was a really great book. I can honestly say I have never read anything like it before. It was so interesting and I always wanted to know what would happen next. A grade A fantasy book. Although some of the writing is repetitious it was still a very well-written book. I can't wait for the next book in this series!

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  • Posted December 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Entertaining

    Includes probably the most ridiculous and over the top family I have ever come across, but an entertaining read.

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  • Posted November 8, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Beautifully written!

    Filled with action and mystery, this book was beautifully written. Bran Hambric is a boy who lives in a city where magic and gnomes are outlawed, living with the Willomases. Silly and wacky are the adjectives I would use to describe them, but their humor provides comic relief for a lot of dark serious moments throughout the book. There are a lot of moments that remind me of Harry Potter, but this book is much too different to be compared to it. They're both great books and this one just so happens to have gnomes in it. Any book that has gnomes in it is cool in my opinion. =D I highly recommend this book to all; young and old.

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