My favorite character -- and this will not surprise anyone once I explain what he's like -- was Jack Selby. He's quiet, soft-spoken, even shy. He's very, very watchful and aware of his surroundings. He's wildly skilled at tracking and shooting. And most of the people in the town of Glory Mesa don't trust him because he used to ride with the Bad Guys. Yeah, no idea why I'd fall for him. Not at all the sort of fellow to attract me. I never go for the quiet, valiant guys who throw themselves deliberately into harm's way to rescue other people or stop Bad Stuff from happening. Never. Lol.
I also really liked Raymond Lacey, older brother of the book's heroine. He's a big, stalwart, reliable guy. Same for Jesse Thatcher, who was probably my third favorite. Any time any of those three were on the page, I was pretty well enthralled. Toss in Kate Carnegie, the enigmatic bartender with a mysterious past, and Doctor Sikes, who holds more power than any old codger could be expected to wield, and you've got my top five right there.
The trouble is, none of those are the main character. The main character is Rosamund Lacey, determined young woman coming west to marry Archer Scott, governor of the Territory. And while I could admire her courage and honesty and love for Archer... I never really felt like I would like hanging out with her. Which is a Me Thing and probably won't bother anyone else at all.
I had kind of a hard time getting through the middle of the book, for two reasons. First, the whole thing changes POV characters every few pages. And it took a long time to get to know the six POV characters well enough that I didn't have to keep flipping back to the list of characters at the front to remember who was talking now. That kept yanking me out of the story, which was annoying.
Also, this is a TENSE book. Very, very tense in many places. So tense that I would start to stress out about the story and set it down to get some distance from it. Most books don't do that to me, at least, not the ones I tend to read. I don't enjoy books that stress me out, to put it simply. This will not be a problem when I reread this book, as I'll know how it ends and not have to wonder about who will live and who will die, and so on.
Yes, I liked this enough to want to read it again, later when more of the books have come out. Maybe once the series is complete. I'm keeping it on my shelf, because I did enjoy it, even if it took me longer to read than I had anticipated. I'm very interested to see how more of the Arthur legends play out with these characters, and I very sincerely and eagerly hope that Jack Selby will get plenty of page time in book two, which I believe will be released this fall already.
|(Mine from my Instagram)|
Particularly Good Bits:
He's not one to look for trouble, but when it finds him, it regrets showing up (p. 21).
We get braver the closer to death we get (p. 177).
Sometimes men hold onto their dreams so tight the dream begins to smother them (p. 215-216).
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG for western violence and some scary moments involving dragon-like monsters.
This was my 35th book read off my TBR shelves for #TheUnreadShelfProject2021.