Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Branding-Micaella Wendell

The Branding
Micaella Wendell
Bellbridge, Jan 14 2011, $10.95
ISBN: 9781611940091

Like all of the elves, teenage Morwen Aleacim knows that evil resides in the forests. She has heard the tales in her village of Aren that monsters who steal children lurk in the kingdom’s shadows like nearby Silvia Forest. However, Morwen is more of a believer in the malevolence than most elves her age because her father Arthil and others in a search party vanished in the forests three years ago and have not been seen since.

Although afraid, Morwen vows to enter the evil realm to find and rescue her dad. She needs to be a warrior but the elf creed disallows females to enter combat. Instead, Morwen trains in secret under the tutelage of the elderly human swordsman Armando. However, everything changes for her as she becomes even more determined when her six-elf year old sister Brynn disappears. Although not ready, Morwen follows the trail, which leads to Tobias the Dark Wizard. They make a deal in which her sibling is freed in exchange for her being his apprentice; their agreement is Branded in the fire of a spell that slowly changes her from a beautiful girl into a misshapen submissive slave. Alan the teen elf joins Morwen on her quest to break the spell of the evil Dark Wizard before she is called to serve the miscreant malevolence.

This is a fabulous quest fantasy starring a resolute female who learns what happens when an elf bargains with a devil. The fast-paced story line is driven by the heroine who risks her life and much more to rescue her younger sister; for every elf knows once Branded it is impossible to remove the curse that Tobias got from his master Belial King of Sanguine.

Harriet Klausner

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