I had the good fortune and pleasure of being able to read an advance copy of Reid Lance Rosenthal’s Maps of Fate, the second book in his Threads West, An American Saga series. If you’ve followed Romantic Shorts at all, you’ll know we’re a fan. Or at least we thought we were. Now, we’re devoted. This book delivers!
Read on for my review, details on where you can purchase Maps of Fate, and watch for our upcoming contest to win your own copy of the first two book in the series!
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I am not at a loss for words. They are all just fighting to be heard first!
Just finished Maps of Fate. Savoured it as long as I possibly could, but now am done. And must say, that Reid Lance Rosenthal had outdone himself with this novel.
His settings and descriptions are stunning. I survived that snowstorm – felt the cold wet damp of the snow creep into the bones, the heat of the sun, warming a back, slashing through branches. The smell of a campfire, the tang of raw game, the stench of battle. I was there, traveling with that train every step of the way. What a trek!
The plot is excellent. The weaving of the stories together and apart flows easily, creating an incredible depth of experience for the reader. Even newly introduced situations are presented as pieces of a puzzle that were missing, yet there all along, invisible until my attention and focus were drawn to them.
But it’s Reid’s people that just blew me away. (I hesitate to call them characters – that would insinuate that he made them up…) They are as real – if not more so – as most of the people I have ever met. I know Rebecca better than most people I have ever gone to school with. People I worked with for years have never solidified in my memory the way Sarah and Zeb have.
Maps of Fate flowed perfectly, without having to stop and think about who’s who; there are enough hints at where everyone’s heading and when to realize that there will be connections all the way through the story. I love that – running into people I know.
It’s a real talent Rosenthal has for juggling so many characters. The general rule is to limit protagonists to no more that four, with no more than two secondary characters per main. I’ve lost count of how many prominent people there are within these plots, yet I am clear on every one of them. Each is unique and familiar enough that the reader can bounce around easily from person to person, place to place, and plot to plot without the reader being lost at all. I thought that was well done in Threads West. But Reid really pulled it off in Maps of Fate, with what, a dozen or more main characters, and another two dozen secondary? Quite remarkable. Kudos!
Most notably, I felt a surprising sense of appreciation for the diversity of the author’s people and plots. Every group – cultural, religious, racial, etc. – has its good guys and its bad guys. And unfortunately, so many stories insist that the bad guys are the ones that are different from those at whom the story is aimed. Following Eagle Talon’s journey, Isaac’s escape, Black Feather’s tragedy, as well as the wagon train’s travelers, all of whom come from even more layers of origin, makes for a rich blend of experience, perspective, and understanding. Ironically, it is this attention to our differences that magnifies so greatly the similarities between us all. Americans may have started out on a million different paths, but it’s the strength, determination, and perseverance that all of America’s ancestors had in common, regardless of where they came from and how, that created your purpose and patriotism. As a Canadian, and a proud one, I know that we have a similar heritage. But whereas we describe our country as a mosaic, we see yours as more of a melting pot. There’s a lot to be said for that. And Rosenthal says it beautifully.
~ Alexandra Brown
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Watch Romantic Shorts Twitter, Facebook, and web pages for details on how you can win copies of the first two book of Reid’s Threads West – An American Saga series. Romantic Shorts subscribers will be entered to win. Bring a friend!
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