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Untoward: Compelling New Young Adult Novel from Mark Brisby Shares Vital Message of Hope with Struggling Youths

Wrapped in a coming-of-age story that’s laced with magic, suspense and a highly-unexpected twist, ‘Untoward’ proves that overcoming life-changing adversity is within anyone’s reach.


Fairfax, VA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/25/2013 -- When turning thirteen, most new teenagers look forward to the prospect of more responsibility and freedom. However, in the case of the protagonists in Mark Brisby’s new novel, being a teenager brings them the overwhelming responsibility of having to save their own lives.

‘Untoward’ boasts a powerful narrative that is expected to resonate with young readers around the world.


A group of evil magicians kidnap two boys (Daumis & Cewyn), the former on his 13th birthday. They starve and torture them in a strict routine to break them. They are rescued by Tadrec, a magician from a beneficent group of magicians, though he has a dark past that keeps him from returning home. He is told that they are the most powerful magicians born in a century, and the Denizens must not be allowed to savage their spirits, thus turning them into the very monsters that took them. He agrees to rescue them so long as he can return to Horizon, the home of his fellow good magicians (Citizens). After he rescues the boys, only one of their abductors survives (Rilliam), and he pursues the trio, striving to kill Tadrec and reclaim the boys for his own.

From there they occasionally travel with a motley collection of characters, including a drunken, lustful minstrel, an old blind Seer who likes to spit on people, a homicidal metal shard, the annoying-perfect student/teacher combo, a barbarian with a heart of gold, and two other Citizens of Horizon, a bully from Tadrec's past and a royal vizier who just doesn't want to go bald.

Before they can reach the safety of the magical, floating city of Horizon, they will have to face giant badgers, blood-thirsty warriors, insane monks, cannibals, an undead army, and a demigod. Not to mention of all the other Denizens that hunger to corrupt the boys' souls.

Daumis is terrified and revolted by the powers that are unlocking within him (seeing the future along with seeing death and decay). Cewyn just wants to reach safety where he can study magical scrolls, but he is sometimes caught up in confusion about the clouds he sees around peoples' heads. Tadrec is just looking to unload the boys once they reach their destination so he can smoke his witchreed without further responsibilities. And Rilliam (trained in the arena to fight or be killed nearly every day of his mentorship to the Denizens that abducted him) just wants to kill Tadrec and drag the boys with him to the hellish underworld wherein he resides.

As the author explains his book, while fiction, imparts an important life lesson on its young readers.

“It shows young adults going through some horrific things and coming out of it (mostly) unscathed and stronger for it, too. It's a message to all the struggling youths out there that are just trying to fit in to the rest of society, even though society won't always let them,” says Brisby.

However, perhaps the most unique facet of the book is its totally unexpected twist that readers will encounter half-way through the story. While the author doesn’t want to give it away, he promises that it will provide a vital opportunity for readers to question their own beliefs and attitudes towards an important life issue.

Since its launch, the book has garnered a consistent string of rave reviews. For example, one readers said the book was, “Deep and gritty at times, this world created by the author is intricate and alive with activity. The characters are true to themselves and have their own voices.”

With a narrative that is close to the heart of all young readers, along with its potentially life-changing lesson, demand for the book is set to increase. Therefore, all interested readers are urged to purchase their copy as soon as possible.

‘Untoward’ is currently only available now: http://amzn.to/148L2tr

About the Author: Mark Brisby
Mark Brisby lives in Fairfax, Virginia and has been writing all of his life. He is constantly inspired by things in daily life, and incorporates those into his work. He enjoys reading and has been inspired by the works of: Colleen McCullough, Steven Saylor, Agatha Christie, Robert Graves, Mercedes Lackey, C.S. Friedman, the biographies of Anthony Everitt, and the classical writings of Virgil, and anything having to do with ancient western civilizations, especially Republican and Imperial Rome.