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Brave Story by Miyuki Miyabe Review

Title: Brave Story

Author: Miyuki Miyabe

First published March 3, 2003

816 pages, Hardcover

ISBN: 9781421511962 (ISBN10: 1421511967)

Rating: 4.17


Young Alex’s life is a mess. His parents have been keeping secrets from him, and he feels lost and alone in the world.

But when he discovers a mysterious portal to a magical realm called Arcadia, he realizes that he may have a chance to change his fate. In Arcadia, Alex encounters all manner of fantastical creatures and must use his wits to overcome treacherous obstacles.

Along the way, he gains allies and enemies, and he soon realizes that his quest for the five gemstones is more dangerous than he ever could have imagined. But if he can collect all five, he’ll be granted the power to alter his destiny and unlock the secrets of his past.

Courage, wisdom, compassion, love, and strength: these are the virtues embodied by each gemstone. Only by mastering them all can Alex hope to change his life and become the hero he was always meant to be.

About the Author

Meet Miyuki Miyabe, an accomplished Japanese author known for her versatility in writing genres such as science fiction, mystery, historical fiction, social commentary, and juvenile fiction. She began her writing journey at the young age of 23 and has since published numerous novels, earning her recognition and awards such as the Yamamoto Shūgorō Prize in 1993 for Kasha and the Naoki Prize in 1998 for The Reason.

In fact, The Reason was so well-received that it was adapted into a Japanese film directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi and released in 2004. Don’t miss out on the works of this talented writer!

Editoral Review

Miyuki Miyabe’s Brave Story is a captivating fantasy novel that offers readers a compelling narrative full of adventure, heartbreak, and self-discovery. Miyabe’s writing style is both lyrical and accessible, amplifying the emotional resonance of her story while keeping readers engaged from beginning to end.

Brave Story is the tale of a young boy named Wataru Mitani, who journeys to a magical world in search of a cure for his seriously ill mother. As he navigates this strange and wondrous land, Wataru must confront his deepest fears, doubts, and insecurities.

Along the way, he befriends a host of intriguing characters, each with their own secrets and motivations. The novel’s world-building is impeccable, immersing readers in a fully realized universe that is both familiar and fantastical.

From the perilous forests of the Foresta region to the bustling streets of the city of Easton, the setting of Brave Story is filled with memorable locales and hidden treasures. Miyabe’s characterization is equally impressive, offering readers a diverse cast of personalities who evolve and grow over the course of the story.

In particular, Wataru is a relatable and sympathetic protagonist who undergoes a genuinely transformative journey. One of the most remarkable aspects of Brave Story is its thematic depth.

Throughout the novel, Miyabe interweaves powerful ideas about courage, identity, and purpose. Her treatment of these themes is both nuanced and compassionate, exploring their complexities without ever descending into didacticism or sentimentality.

Overall, Brave Story is an outstanding example of the fantasy genre, offering readers a richly imagined world, complex characters, and thought-provoking themes. Miyuki Miyabe’s impressive storytelling skills make for a compelling read that will appeal to fans of all ages.

While Brave Story is undoubtedly an excellent novel, it does have some minor flaws. Some readers may find the book’s pacing a bit slow at times, and the plot’s resolution is somewhat predictable.

Additionally, the novel’s cultural context may be unfamiliar to some Western readers, which could impact their understanding and enjoyment of the story. With that said, Brave Story is still an outstanding work that deserves a wide audience.

Fans of Miyabe’s other works, as well as readers who enjoy immersive fantasy tales, will find much to love about this book. For those who are willing to give it a chance, Brave Story has the power to inspire, entertain, and enrich.

4.5/5 Stars.

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