Monthly Archives: June 2015

Trail of the Spanish Bit by Don Coldsmith

When Conquistador Juan Garcia is separated from his troops he forms a temporary alliance with the Native American tribe called the People. Juan’s horse skills gain the People’s respect and they begin to gain his respect. After Juan helps fight the vicious Head Splitters he questions his destiny. Can a Spanish warrior make a permanent home among the People?

Juan gains maturity as he slowly learns to respect and care about the People. The People, especially cunning and caring Coyote, are likeable. Plenty of adventure occurs as Juan helps the People fight the Head Splitters and develop a horse herd. There is also some romance when Juan falls in love with the beautiful and brave Tall One. Trail of the Spanish Bit offers a story focusing on Native American culture meeting other cultures, adventurousness, and romance.

Want more books like Trail of the Spanish Bit?

A white and a Native American raised as blood brothers find their bond challenged by the Battle of Little Big Horn in Blood Bond by William W. Johnstone.

A group of Welsh colonists blends with a Native American tribe in Children of the First Man by James Alexander Thom.

Tired U.S. soldier John Dunbar’s life changes forever after he encounters a Comanche camp in Dances with Wolves by Michael Blake.

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Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Kelsea has been raised to be queen, but her throne is not secure. Her uncle wants her dead, nearby Mortsmene threatens her kingdom, and her allies doubt her. Can a trained but inexperienced girl find the strength to become a queen?

Kelsea isn’t a storybook princess. Her life in isolation wasn’t bliss, she isn’t beautiful, and her mother’s legacy works against her. Her unique circumstances add flavor to her coming of age story. Other characters have conflicted loyalties or hidden depths which also make them interesting. There is plenty of world building with politics, magic, and a science fiction dystopic origin for the Tearling. Queen of the Tearling offers interesting characters, worldbuilding, and genreblending fantasy.

Want more books like Queen of the Tearling?

A kingdom is threatened by royal politics, a threat from Winter, and a mad prince’s plotting in A Game of Thrones by George A. Martin.

When an exiled prince unexpectedly becomes emperor he finds dangers to his kingdom and himself in The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison.

A young woman finds she is a princess and must win a vicious power struggle to survive in The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin.

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Roman Blood by Steven Saylor

Gordianus the Finder finds truths other Romans won’t dirty their hands seeking. When he’s hired by a young orator named Cicero he faces his most dangerous case. How is the murder of a country farmer connected to Rome’s rich and powerful? Will Gordianus lose his life seeking the truth?

Gordianus is jaded, at times kind, intuitive, and a talented investigator. The characters, historical and created, are interesting. Cicero, for instance, is temperamental and a mix of noble and ambitious. Rome is a city of many moods and faces. The mystery features a solid chain of logic but also some plausible surprises. Roman Blood offers a historical mystery set in ancient Rome.

Want more books like Roman Blood?

A Roman commander finds a vicious trail of corruption when he investigates two seemingly unrelated murders in The King’s Gambit by John Maddox Roberts.

A down on his luck Roman army doctor investigates a series of mysterious deaths in a bar in Medicus by Ruth Downie.

A Roman investigator finds the death of Emperor Vespasian’s lion is tied to corruption in the world of gladiators in Two for the Lions by Lindsey Davis.

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Dawn’s Early Light by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris

Agents Eliza Braun and Wellington Books of Britain’s Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences are famous for wrecking havoc while saving the day. Their ‘luck’ continues when they are sent to help end mysterious disappearances in America. Can they stop Thomas Edison from destroying San Francisco? Will they decide they belong with their American counterparts rather than each other?

This story contains mayhem, romantic miscommunication, and an entertaining steampunk world. A ‘Brouhaha’ gun with humorous settings, modified Winchester guns, and other gadgets wreck havoc. Braun and Books are opposites which draws them together but also pushes them apart. Brawling Wild Bill Wheatley entices Braun’s daring while quiet librarian Felicity Lovelace engages Book’s intellect. This Steampunk universe offers the unique twists of a perhaps unbalanced Victoria, villainous Edison, and menacing society named after a Poe story. Dawn’s Early Light offers a male and female investigative team, romance, and steampunk.

Want more books like Dawn’s Early Light?

A British Museum researcher and his feminist assistant investigate an airship crash and other odd events in The Affinity Bridge by George Mann.

A pair of Criminal Investigation Department agents strives to end a series of murders before their city is torn apart in The Bronze Gods by A.A. Aguirre.

A pirate rescues a spinster writer and is intrigued by her in The Kraken King by Meljean Brook.

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