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Monday, March 28, 2016

"The Wildcat of Braeton" By Claire M. Banschbach. A Review

The Wildcat of BraetonThe Wildcat of Braeton by Claire M. Banschbach
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Friendship that lasts to the end of one’s life is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain in the light of the high mobility of the nomadic 21st Century. And yet friendship – true, lasting friendship – is one of the gaping holes in our societal chests. It is a large theme fleshed out in Tolkien’s works like “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” and it is a major tone vibrating through Claire M. Banscbach’s “The Wildcat of Braeton”. This 447 page paperback written for fantasy-fiction lovers young and old, wraps up the story that began in “The Rise of Aredor,” bringing the saga to an end.

Many of the cast of characters in “The Wildcat of Braeton” are old acquaintances met in the earlier volume, along with several newer ones. The first half of the story follows Corin’s friend, Aiden, who was still in the service of Lord Rishdah of Calorin, but has now completed his time in Rishdah’s Phoenix Guard. He returns to his homeland and to his family to find out what awaits him. When he left Scodra years before, it was on tense and troubled terms with his father, Laird Gordan, the head of Clan Canich. Upon his return things are not well, for his father has fallen under the sinister influence of Adalwulf of Clan Dyson. The aging Laird Gordan has all but alienated his Clan’s warriors, as well as his sons. What unfolds is a brave, bold and obliging reclamation of Scodra as well as the Clan, and Aiden rises out of the smoke and sweat as the grudging Champion of his Clan. Also surfacing from the dust and deadly contest is a growing attachment to courageous and committed Rona, a young woman willing to be armed and fight for her clan.

Once calm and concord have been restored to Clan Canich, other things begin slowly to be reestablished. Relationships between Laird Gordan and his sons, along with the fighters and farmers are rebuilt; forgiveness is sought and received; hope and trust grow; and life begins to return to Scodra as in days past. Yet something unseen, but sensed, is in the air.

The second section of the book unfolds with Corin preparing for what he can only suspect. The ranks of the Hawk Flight are slowly refilled, scouts and patrols are sent along the frontiers, but nothing can be seen. Throughout the time of preparing and waiting, Corin finds himself attracted to Mera, as a result of the scheming of his own sister. The relationship moves along, step by step in courteous and chaste ways, in-between patrols and frequent travels to the outposts and borders and back. Finally the concealed menace raises its callous head, and the rapacious conflict is on in earnest! Many of the characters who mount up in both books are bid farewell, and “The Wildcat of Braeton” comes to a close with finality and firmness.

All through both portions of chronicle the friendship between Corin and Aiden matures and marches on. There is loyalty, commitment, support and the willing fulfillment of duty even in the face of dim probabilities and potential defeat. Each comes to the other’s aid when called upon, and both display trust in one another. It is a friendship forged in fire!

“The Wildcat of Braeton” is a page-turner! It will keep the reader glued to it well into the wee hours of the night. It is a striking portrayal of camaraderie, moral courage, character and tenacious commitment. Older adults all the way to teenagers will delight in the book. As soon as it arrived in the mail my oldest son snatched it up and devoured it in one day! If you’re looking for a good and wholesome story for your young adults or for yourself, I highly recommend you pick up both volumes, “The Rise of Aredor” and “The Wildcat of Braeton”. You will be glad you spent the money to secure your copy!

Thanks to Miss Banschbach for providing, upon my request, the free copy of “The Wildcat of Braeton” used for this review. The assessments are mine given without restrictions or requirements (as per Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255).

{You can go here to order the book}

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