|Author: Steven Maus|
|In the kingdom of Branchwater, the humans have peacefully lived alongside their guardians, the mantliks, for the last seven hundred years. But that changes one morning when they wake up to find a foreign army encamped outside the castle town. |
What follows is a gripping story of several young friends-human and mantlik-and how they come together to survive. Facing an onslaught like no one imagined, the two races must stand side-by-side on the walls of Branchwater, bracing themselves for the future.
As the siege commences with lifted shields and drawn bows, the children hide deep inside the castle. It is the young Desirae who wanders through the inner halls and down into the basement. What she stumbles on below the castle could mean either salvation for Branchwater or its destructive end.
A Fully Realized Fantasy1/7/2008
Branchwater's strengths lay in its originallity. In fact, there is so much history behind the fictional continent and kingdom in question, it almost gets confusing at times. Maus has obviously put countless hours into realizing the continent of Esrael, the kingdom of Branchwater, and the characters that live there. The story starts out with a tournament duel. The mantlik champion (mantliks being guardians to humans) facing off against the human in quite a spiteful battle. Once the tournament is complete, the citizens rest easy and partake in the joys of the festivities, knowing nothing of the army sailing towards their innocent, vulnerable shores. Laden with lush, visual details, Branchwater is a winner, easily read and enjoyed by kids and adults alike.