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Runt the Brave (The Legends of Tira Nor, Book 1) Paperback – October 20, 2012
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“Schwabauer combines the best of Narnia, Middle Earth, and his own talent in this unforgettable retelling of David & Goliath.” - Church Libraries “fantastic” - Midwest Book Review “amazing” - Heartland Reviews --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
In stories of adventure and discovery, the narrative voice and flow of the story determine how enjoyable it is to read. "Runt the Brave" is a pleasure. Schwabauer writes with an active voice and uses his settings to create rich atmospheres. The following text passage is just one example: "Summer drew to a close. The stalks of corn in the fields far to the west bent over in death and turned slowly from yellow to black. The endless shafts of tall grass that carpeted the prairie now stood resolutely dormant, as brittle as the wings of a moth. Even the earth seemed little more than a shriveled and rotting husk. Its skin, now hard as bone, lay split into a cracqueleur pattern of dusty runnels" (90).
The story is aimed primarily for youth ages 9-12, but adults will enjoy the story too. Also, "Runt the Brave" would be a good book for parents to read out loud with younger children who will certainly enjoy the well-woven words and actions of young JaRed.
Even though I'm an adult I like to read a lot of middle-grade and teen books, and this is another quality addition to the list of worthwhile ones.
I really thought this was going to be pretty terrible. I expected a heavily moralistic very wooden allegory with two dimensional characters.
It is not like that at all.
This is a good fantasy. I felt connected to the characters and their situations. The depictions of the culture and history of the city, and the legends told by the mice intrigued me.
I am looking forward to reading this book again with my 11 year old, and giving it as gifts to other children this Christmas.
Runt the Brave tells the story of a mouse, JaRed also known as Runt. He's small, as his name implies, and isn't the most popular mouse in the kingdom of Tira-Nor. Nevertheless, he is anointed to be the next king by the seer. From there, things start to get hectic. Rats attack, and everything goes down hill. The story follows closely to that of King David in the Bible. Over all, the basic plot is simple; almost cliché. But it's what Schwabauer does with the story and characters that make this book so good.
I'll begin by answering whether or not the books serves its purpose. And that answer is yes. It serves its purpose very well. It is extremely entertain, and I'd go as far as to say it's gripping. It's a fresh, exciting read, and very original.
The writing is quick, and the author doesn't fall into the usual pits that most other authors fall into. In fact, he not only doesn't fail, he succeeds on every level. He utilizes all of the best writing techniques to his advantage. I wasn't disappointed in the least. I was happy to have found such a solid read.
The characters are true to themselves to the end, are dynamic, and interesting. Schwabauer mad them seem important and relevant, and I cared what happened to them. The decisions they made changed the course of the plot, which may seem contradictory in the sense that it follows the story of David in the Bible, but that's the brilliance of the novel. He doesn't only stick to a story that already has been laid out; he uses it to his advantage by making the characters move all the pieces into place. He makes the story his own. Not only that, there is nothing allegorical about this book at all. No heavy religious overtones with over-blown themes. The book make hints and gestures without getting in your face.
The dialogue is smart and singular to each character, and there is a good balance between passages of prose and dialogue.
There is enough action to keep the pace up, good battle scenes, and well-crafted subplots. This is a much darker book than Redwall, for example. Schwabauer isn't afraid to harm his characters. The bad guys are bad, and it's very apparent, which makes the book all the more believable, despite the fact that mice are the main characters.
There isn't much more to say. Frankly, Runt the Brave is a solid read, written almost flawlessly, with good characters, good dialogue, and a fresh, new story. I couldn't be more please. I highly recommend this book to anyone one enjoys a good fantasy, or just a good read altogether.