The year is 1886; most of the middle U.S. is unsettled frontier
inhabited by the Indians of the Cheyenne Alliance. President George
Custer is stepping up the undeclared war against the Indians,
building a bridge across the Missouri (Big Greasy) River with
strategically placed forts to protect future land rush white settlers.
In the prequel volume, The Year the Cloud Fell, George Custer,
Jr. had crashed his experimental dirigible in Cheyenne territory
and was captured. Now he is fighting on the Indians' side. The
Indians crush President Custer's reelection campaign hopes by
blowing up his new bridge with dynamite and decimating the forts.
The Indians still ride around on tame dinosaurs (one reader called
the first book "Dances with Dinosaurs") and George falls
in love with an Indian maiden. So it's your atypical, yet typical
Indian adventure. It is difficult to get into the story without
having read the first novel. But quick plotting, good characterization,
and great descriptions soon sweep the reader into the maelstrom.
Those who enjoyed the first will clamor for this installment.
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George Armstrong Custer II, son of the U.S. president and an
accomplished Cheyenne warrior, arrives in Washington as an ambassador
to the U.S. in a joint effort with the New Spanish aimed at protecting
the Cheyenne Alliance from U.S. expansion. Unfortunately, a young
immigrant, Cesare, who was sucked into underground politics after
losing his family in the West, ruins attempts at U.S.-Cheyenne
rapprochement with an attempted assassination of President Custer.
Balancing abundant action with enough period detail to overcome
historiographic qualms, and sustaining the memorable dual portrait
of Custer pere and his wife, Libbie, drawn in its predecessors,
the third book in Giambastiani's series set in an alternate world
where dinosaurs survive in historical North America to become
the steeds of the Cheyenne is a solid piece of work. After re-suspending
disbelief, faithful series readers, in particular, will enjoy
the adventures of young Custer.
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Association. All rights reserved