“Bran Hambric was found alone in a locked bank vault when he was six years old. He doesn’t have a clue how he got there, or any memory of his past. There’s only one explanation: Magic. But magic is outlawed in the Great and Glorious City of Dunce.
Eight years later, a twisted, hissing creature confronts Bran and his foster father, Sewey, on their rooftop. Sewey believes it’s a gnome, but not Bran. (Sewey isn’t the brightest Duncelander to begin with.) Bran soon discovers that whatever leapt onto his roof is connected to the he never knew…and that Bran himself is the missing link in a plot so secret and evil that those behind it will stop at nothing to hunt him down.
Armed with wands and weapons, Bran’s enemies are about to attack–with all the power of a horrible curse and a terrible crime. Magic won’t be the only law broken in the City of Dunce…”
Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse by Caleb Nation is a bit of a hidden gem for magic/fantasy readers. I read this a while ago, but found myself wanting to write a review on it upon discovering it in my room and I wanted others to know more about it. It was released around the peak of Harry Potter with the movie series nearing its end. While there are similaritites to the Harry Potter series, it does enough to satisfy and thrill readers.
Bran Hambric was a solid protagonist who has to come to terms with his newfound powers. His journey from beginning to end is a bit generic, but is fairly effective. There will be comparisons with him to Harry Potter (newfound powers, siblings who hate him, etc.), but he does enough to stand out as his own character. His struggle to accept himself and his past was well done and the main driving force of the character. The other supporting do well although I found Astara to be one of the better ones. She becomes Bran’s friend and helps him throughout his journey. The rest are fine and do what they are supposed to do, but they do not really stand out.
The plot is fairly standard for a fantasy novel and does take some time to pick up. Although, I attribute it to world building. It does get a bit heavy in the second half in terms of plot and characters which can lose you. The world Nation creates is pretty awesome. It does have the standard goblins and monsters with some gnomes mixed in, but the history behind it, as Bran continues to uncover secrets of Dunce, is fairly interesting and stands out from other magical novels. It is a fairly well written book considering the book was started by Nation at 14 and continued throughout his teen years which is pretty impressive.
Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse is a solid and well done magic novel. There will be comparisons to the Harry Potter series and I admit there are similarities to it, but Nation does enough to make this novel stand out in the crowded genre.
Rating: Must Buy for Magic/ Harry Potter lovers.
For everyone else, Check It Out