Monday, July 4, 2011

At the Queen's Command: The First Book of the Crown Colonies

July the 4th - the perfect day to recommend this fantastic alternate reality tale of the American Revolution by Michael A. Stackpole. The Queen's Command if the first book in what will be the Crown Colonies Series. It's setting is in a world of practical magic, domesticated flightless war dragons, semi-chameleon skinned native people, dark arts as science, and yes even zombies. It's has all the essential elements of the frontier adventure tales of James Fenimore Cooper or Jack London - full of the mixed sense of danger and promise in the discovery of a new land. But additionally there is an underling  layer of political conspiracy and Court intrigue that promises to play out through the continuing book series. Mystria is the name of alternate young Colonial America that finds itself increasingly entangled in the concerns of the battling Old World Empires of Norillia (England) and Tharyingia (France). Captain Owen Strake is capable the young protagonist who lands in the New World ready to do his Royal duty and secure a future back home only to find he may have more in common with the colonists like the Wilderness Scout Nathaniel Woods and Native Prince Kamiskwa who aid him. And while there is obviously a lot of manly action and battle as to be expected for the time period - the female characters involved are well drawn -- portrayed as smart, independent minded and holding power and influence behind the scenes. The main storyline managed to have a satisfying resolution while an interesting character revelation near the end of the book sets the stage for some more of the Court intrigue aspect I mentioned -- and I look forward to next to the next installment. Visit the author's website for more info.

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