A pissed-off warlock with a taste for revenge.
An army of sand-golems with fistfuls of magic.
A wishing well with a mind of its own.
No wonder Blackpeak, Texas never got its spot on the map.
Town marshal Elias Faust thinks that he can make any problem go away if he throws enough lead at it. The living’s easy for a lawman. Bloody, but easy – that is, until Magnate Gregdon arrives with his undead syndicate to tear the town of Blackpeak, Texas apart.
When a shootout with a pair of outlaws goes sideways, Elias Faust accidentally draws the Magnate’s attention. As if dealing with arcane sorcery, reanimated corpses, and the Magnate’s personal vendetta aren’t enough, Faust finds himself at the center of a power-struggle for Blackpeak’s eldritch secrets.
Suddenly, staying alive just got a lot more complicated.
Hunted by a cadre of sandshades and hounded by sinister spellcraft, Elias Faust may be the only bag of skin defiant enough to keep Blackpeak from being destroyed. To outlast the Magnate’s disciples, he’ll need to shoot straighter, run faster, and live longer…even if it means sacrificing a part of himself to do just that.
The Dresden Files meets Deadwood in this fantastically weird western by Rance D. Denton. Fast-paced, witty, violent and riveting, HIs Ragged Company keeps you on the edge of your seat and then makes you laugh so hard you fall off.
Told in the first person POV of Elias Faust, Town Marshal of Blackpeak, Texas, and in six parts broken up with SPOILERY interludes, each part has its own beginning, middle and end. With this structure, you’d think it would feel like a start-stop story, but Denton manages to make it feel natural to the story, almost like reading a mini-series. The episodic nature of the book was something I really enjoyed, although I can see how it might be frustrating for some.
The town Blackpeak feels incredibly well realized, and that’s where it made me think of the HBO series Deadwood. Each character we are introduced to feels like a completely real person, with their own motivations, livelihood and history. Each part (or episode, if you will) dedicates attention to different side characters and when it all comes together in the end, it’s fucking glorious.
The magic starts off very subtle and for the first 50 or so pages I wouldn’t blame you for thinking this was nothing more than a western. But slowly and surely, Denton pulls the veil back and all sorts of magic, monsters and gods (?) spill out into this old west town to wreak havoc and cause mayhem.
Growing up in Virginia City, Nevada, I always avoided the western genre because I was basically living it. I am so happy I’ve opened up to the weird western genre as I’ve discovered two of my favorite books now, there.
Delivering an equal amount of laughs and thrills, His Ragged Company is a wild ride through a magical western world with danger and mystery around every corner and buried in every mine. Rance D. Denton has a firm grasp on his characters and world and this novel serves as a great introduction to this genre-bending series.
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