Above the ground, power is also about allegiances. A magician can drain his friends' strength to strengthen him, and place them between him and danger. The one with the most friends stands to win the territory.
Jesse Fox left his Eastern college education behind to wander west, after his sister suffered a mental breakdown - an event she insisted was a supernatural assault. Now Jesse's been summoned to Tombstone by his friend the physician (and magician) Chow Lung. Lung insists that Jesse has magical talent, but if Jesse believed that he'd have to accept that the thing that destroyed his sister's mind lives in his own as well.
Jesse meets the tubercular Doc Holliday, whose inner magic is as suppressed as his own, but whose power is enough to attract the sinister attention of Wyatt Earp, who means to use Holliday to put himself and his family in positions of power in Arizona. And Jesse also meets Mildred Benjamin, a young Jewish widow who makes her living first as a newspaper typesetter, then as a reporter, as she discovers her true nature - personal and supernatural - in the scrambling boomtown environment of Tombstone.
Then, when a failed stage holdup results in two dead, Tombstone explodes with speculation about who attempted it. The truth could destroy Wyatt Earp's plans for wealth and glory, and he'll do anything to bury it. Meanwhile, outlaw leader John Ringo wants the same turf as Earp.
Events (including fire, floods, Apaches, and rustlers, and a surprising Fourth of July) are building toward the shootout of which you may have heard. But you haven't heard the whole, secret story until you've read Emma Bull's unique take on an American legend, in which absolutely nothing is as it seems
©2007 Emma Bull; (P)2008 Macmillan Audio
"Vivid and deeply felt. Readers will think about the story long after it ends." (Publishers Weekly)
The long wait for a new Emma Bull has been rewarded; 'Territory' is well-written, humorous, sharp-edged, and much more historically accurate than the beguiling preface would suggest. It is very definitely the first part of something; it's not just that it leaves many, many plot points unresolved, to be addressed in the subsequent book(s), it's also that it does more to build complexity in character and relationships than to provide a really gripping story arc that can stand alone. There is action, adventure, drama, humor, and things changing and developing, but it's not paced like a stand-alone novel. I enjoyed the complexity of the foundation laid in this first volume, as well as enjoying its story, characters, and dialogue (perhaps especially dialogue), but I found myself wishing for just a little steeper a plot arc, even though I know it's the first piece of something and I like it that way.
My first time through it, I felt a little flat at the ending. But in its praise, I can say that every time I've listened to it again since then, I've enjoyed it more and more.
The readers are both *extremely* good. Kate Reading does a marvelous job, which is what I have come to expect from her. I think it's a pity that the production gave us one male reader for two different male point-of-view characters (Jesse Fox and Doc Holliday), but Michael Kramer does a fine job with a challenging task.
I wavered between giving this a 4 and a 5. As I finish writing this review, I'm still not sure. And I don't hand out 5's often.
Practically perfect in every way. Historically accurate, well-written, the narration makes it more like theatre than a book. This is fantasy that is totally believeable and enjoyable every step of the way.
I've always liked every book I've read by Emma Bull, this one's not an exception. And I've got to say, with the added western accent of the narrators, really help to immerse myself to the setting and greatly added to my enjoyment of the story.
This title deserves more than a five star, for the great book and excellent narrators. Don't hesitate to try it.
Hearing that there's going to be a sequel makes me giddy with happiness.
I listen to books when I'm at work or doing chores. I prefer history and fantasy. My favorite audio book is Going Postal by Terry Pratchett.
I've encountered several novels that have attempted to combine the magic of Fantasy with the style of Western gun-slinging romance, but this is by far the most successful. In most cases, these kind of novels read like what they are, a lumpy hodgepodge of ideas taken from different cultural sources thrown in together. This book is one of a handful where these flavors blend to create a unified whole. It's also much more tightly written than the likes of the Dark Tower saga and unfailingly entertaining throughout. It is the only book I have ever recommended to my Western loving grandfather, my horse loving mother, and my fantasy loving best friend and gotten a universally positive response.
The book's main flaw is that it reads like the second book of a series; it's not. This is a stand alone novel, unless Ms. Bull has written short stories about these characters that I'm unaware of. The main character Jesse and his friend Chow Lung constantly refer back to a shared past the reader knows nothing about. Lung is even written like a cameo character, as if we should all ready know him well. The novel ends before the infamous Gunfight at the OK Corral, probably off the assumption that everyone knows what happened there all ready. This does leave us wondering what becomes of the main characters, which isn't by itself a bad thing, but the conclusion comes off as rushed and abrupt.
I read the text version of this book some years ago and had fond memories of it, therefor I was relieved to discover that the readers do it justice. Kate Reading is a perfect choice for Millie and I'm glad they cast a male reader for the places where the narrative switches to Jesse. Reading still has the problem of only having one "voice" for male characters but to be fair Kramer has exactly the same problem with female characters, Kate Holliday and Millie sound exactly the same when he reads them. This is only a minor complaint. The audiobook is a wonderful listen and very entertaining.
I bought this book thinking it would be a nice bit of fluff to fall asleep to at night. It was so much more. I found myself rewinding and listening to parts again in order to pick up the details my sleepy mind was missing. This is a fascinating tale of alternative history. I found myself actually caring about the people I met in this book. After I purchased the book and downloaded I wondered why I had actually bought the book. I don't as a rule like westerns of any kind. This book went way beyond my expectations. It was an historical novel full of beautiful details, it was an alternative history that made me wonder about what actually happened in the lives of the people in the story. It was also a mystery that kept my attention to the very last sentence. I will have to listen to this one again (and I seldom do that), because I think I will enjoy it just as much a second time around. I look forward to more from Emma Bull they will be a definite buy for me.
Hey thanks, Macmillan Audio, for telling us that this is PART 1 OF A SERIES. There is zero resolution at the end of this title. It's a decent story, but now if I want to know how it ends I'm obligated to purchase the entire series. Had that been mentioned anywhere at all in the description I would not have wasted a credit on this audiobook.
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