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RUNT THE BRAVE by Daniel Schwabauer


by Daniel Schwabauer

Age Range: 10 - 13

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-9742972-1-6
Publisher: Clear Water Press

In this retelling of the tale of David and Goliath, mice and rats occupy center stage, with both sides getting supernatural help. Dubbed “Runt” even by his loving mother, puny JaRed is astounded and dismayed when old Seer TaMir informs him that he’s been chosen by God—here dubbed “ElShua”—as the next king of the sprawling underground city of Tira-Nor. Earning a spot in the royal guard by killing a snake, JaRed bonds with the current king’s son, and receives military training—just in time, as an army of rats led by a gigantic killer named GoRec is approaching. Aside from a clumsy attempt at comic relief, in the form of a mouse warrior with a thick French accent, Schwabauer builds a cast of recognizable but not one-dimensional character types, endows his undersized protagonist with compassion as well as courage, and with occasional flashbacks to set up the earthly and Heavenly backstories, moves the plot forward briskly, through absorbing, if rather grisly, battle scenes, to the climactic confrontation. Christian themes are present but not pushed in this action-oriented remake. (Fantasy. 10-13)