2.5/ 3 stars
This was a pleasant, but overly long middle-grade fantasy offering. Kaleb Nation wrote it as a teen, which is always quite an accomplishment, but I do believe that it could have really
used some editing. The pacing is slow, with a plot that needed more elucidation. Characterization is a bit blatant - more telling than showing. Still, there were glimmers of a much more accomplished author in there and I hope he continues to write and improve.
The story is pretty basic. Orphaned boy, taken in by not-so-nice people (though Sewey was oddly kind at times), curse/great destiny/fate attached to said orphan and after discovering the magical world surrounding him and the magical heritage that is his, he has to go defeat the big, bad villain. Also, young friend, also magical, and magical creatures. The magic was fun, I found Bran's adopted family occasionally hilarious, and there was some humor throughout.
There is a sequel coming out this fall:[b:Bran Hambric: The Specter Key|8719969|Bran Hambric The Specter Key|Kaleb Nation|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51maHQx9KsL._SL75_.jpg|13592884].