A novel based on a missing manuscript

"The Legend of Broken" by Caleb Carr, Random House, 752 pages, $27.

 

An unknown manuscript surfaces about a legendary kingdom in North Germany. It is found in the personal papers of Edward Gibbon.

 

In this multi-charactered tale, Sixt Arnem heads the kingdom's army. Lord Basterkin heads the merchants council and Keera is a female tracker who tries to save her people. The fortress is under siege.

 

While this is a wide-ranging novel, it is confusing and often boring. Caleb Carr's 1994 novel "The Alienist" is much better.

 

***

 

"A Christmas Home" by Greg Kincaid, Crown, 225 pages, $16.

 

Todd McCray has developmental disabilities, but he is good with dogs and works at the animal shelter. He trained a dog for his friend Laura who has physical disabilities.

 

The town's largest employer is closing and budget cuts have to be made. The mayor is going to close the animal shelter. Todd and his friends will have to find other jobs and find places for all the remaining animals.

 

This is a gentle, sweet novel, but very predictable.

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