Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall
by Aaron Safronoff
Neoglyphic Entertainment

"Hundreds of pinprick lights turned on as the tiny creatureseyes flashed open. Wings fluttered and clacked ominously. In unison, the insects faced Barra and swarmed like tendrils of smoke reaching for her."

Something twisted and deadly is slowly rising from the depths. It is shuttering the light and strangling the flow of water, corrupting the roots of the Great Trees and threatening all life in Cerulean. But not every creature will be dragged unwittingly into the dark. Some, like the young listlespur, Barra, and her two arboreal companions will refuse to go quietly, and they will journey farther than anyone could imagine to save those they know and love.

Set in a unique and visually stunning world, Saffronoff's book instantly captivates the imagination. The story begins with Barra, a colorful and lithe tree-dweller with several feline features, sneaking into her father's study and discovering some leaves from his journal. This serves to only increase her interest in the mystery of the Middens, the abandoned ruins her missing father had explored below the Loft where most of the various arboreal species now dwell. But the Middens is a dangerous place to visit as Barra quickly learns after being attacked by Kudmoths, the harbingers of the deadly Creepervine that the Council of Elders refuses to believe is rising. To bring back proof of her claim, Barra, along with her friends Tory and Plicks, returns to the Middens only to accidently fall even deeper into darkness and danger.

Much of the strength of this highly readable book lies in the time Safronoff takes in developing his characters. All three of the children, or bups, are believable and likeable, and even many of the supporting characters are well drawn. However, it is the sheer novelty of the setting with its intriguing denizens and the beautiful, full color illustrations that make this fantasy a tale not to be missed.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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