Thursday, August 18, 2022

#26: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

The country's greatest assassin is a teenaged girl, eventually captured and sent to a mine to serve her sentence; but a reprieve may be coming in the form of a contest to crown a new King's Champion in Sarah J. Maas' Throne of Glass.

Maas is a popular fantasy writer, and this is the first in a YA series she wrote (although I did not know it was for young adults when I picked up the audiobook).  This one is sort of a mix between Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games, in the setting of a modest D&D campaign.

Pretty much hits all the standard beats, but the protagonist is a curious one; she is a deadly assassin who actually never kills anyone in the novel, and immediately after toiling in the mines as a slave for a year begins flirting with a handsome Captain of the Guard and an even handsomer Prince.

Not a knockout for me, but Maas certainly has fans.  I listened to a good reading by Elizabeth Evans on audiobook on loan from the New Castle-Henry County Public Library in New Castle, Indiana.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

#25 The Iron Noose by Michael Bonner

A Texas Ranger reluctantly begins to chase an outlaw, and when he arrives in a town full of the outlaw's murderous relatives finds himself really over his head, in Michael Bonner's The Iron Noose.

Ranger MacLane is an unusual western character; a failed rancher who becomes a Ranger as a job, and doesn't really want to work too hard at it.  But his pride, and thirst for revenge, begins to grow, until he becomes a formidable force by the denouement.

Bonner's storytelling is unusual in most every way; it's a shame that Bonner--actually Anne Bonner Glasscock--only wrote a handful of westerns.  Colorful characters, and a plot that doesn't follow a straight line, makes her an easy favorite.

This was a blind 50-cent buy from a goodbye shelf at a used bookstore, and I couldn't be happier with it.  Read it over a few quick days camping.  Recommended to any western fan.

Monday, August 1, 2022

#24: Ride the Lawless Land by Kirk Hamilton

Yancey Bannerman and Johnny Cato are private "enforcers" for the Governor of Texas, this time dispatched to hunt a murderous gang, with a pretty but bloodthirsty survivor in tow, in Kirk Hamilton's Ride the Lawless Land, part of the Bannerman the Enforcer series.

Hamilton, really Australian writer Keith Hetherington, wrote scores of novels, many of them part of this lengthy series.

This is a pretty standard oater with familiar pacing, as Bannerman and Cato pretend to be outlaws (and dress their companion up as a boy) in a loosely-assembled and quickly-resolved plot.

Agreeable enough western from Piccadilly Publishing that I read on my beloved Kindle quite quickly.