Synopses & Reviews
Driven by their blood-frenzied master, GoRec, a merciless army of rats swarms toward the underground mouse-city of Tira-Nor. The rats have come for only one reason: to slaughter the mice and seize their ancestral home. But rats are not the only nightmare to awaken in the dying days of summer. A cold and bodiless evil stalks the lonely tunnels of the city, a shadow whose presence may mean that the doom of the Ancients has risen once again. Tira-Nor's last hope lies with JaRed son of ReDemec, a mouse so small and young even his family calls him Runt. But when the crazy old seer TaMir anoints JaRed to be the next king, JaRed's brother denounces him as a traitor and threatens to expose the prophecy at court. After all, Tira-Nor already has a king! Surrounded by enemies too terrifying to comprehend, JaRed searches desperately for a way to save the city from annihilation. When GoRec's vast rat hordes at last descend on the plains above the city, JaRed is torn between his inner conviction that "right makes might" and the common sense that tells him victory against such terrible odds is impossible. But JaRed is about to encounter a power beyond the rat army, beyond even that of the Great Owl ... a power that will fling him into a destiny wilder than anything he's ever imagined!
"This originally self-published fantasy novel chronicles the adventures of JaRed, the titular field mouse born a runt. Out foraging one day, JaRed runs into two rats, who may be the advance guard of an attack on the mouse city Tira-Nor. When JaRed returns home, the old seer TaMir tells the little mouse he is destined to be the next king. Encounter by frightening encounter, JaRed grows into what has been foretold. Schwabauer's rendering of the archetypal heroic journey is fresh. As in the best fantasies, the author's imagination conjures a whole world, with a theology, cosmogony, and set of customs; the book includes a glossary and a short appendix explaining the naming traditions of the mice. The familiar hero's journey has immediate relevance for young readers; the cover trumpets a story of 'bravery in the midst of a bully society.' Even without that hook, it's a fine, thoroughly imagined, absorbing read. Ages 8-12.
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Driven by their blood-frenzied master, a merciless army of rats swarms toward the underground mouse-city of Tira-Nor. Only one mouse has the courage to face the onslaught, the "runt" JaRed son of ReDemec. But JaRed is about to encounter a power beyond the rat army, beyond even that of the Great Owl ... a power that will fling him into a destiny wilder than anything he's ever imagined!
About the Author
Daniel Schwabauer, M.A., is creator of the One Year Adventure Novel writing curriculum and editor of Crosswind Comics. His professional work includes stage plays, radio scripts, short stories, newspaper columns, comic books and scripting for the PBS animated series Auto-B-Good. His young adult novels have received numerous awards, including the Ben Franklin Award for Best New Voice in Children?s Literature and the Eric Hoffer Award. He graduated from Kansas University?s Masters program in Creative Writing in 1995. He lives in Olathe, Kansas with his wife and daughter.