Thursday, August 20, 2009
Justin Allen's THE YEAR OF THE HORSE in Publishers Weekly
Justin Allen's The Year of the Horse in Publishers Weekly: "Allen, author of the historical fantasy Slaves of the Shinar, plots a supernatural wild west adventure in his sophomore outing that should hold appeal for younger readers. Chinese-American teenager Tzu-lu finds his life upended when his grandparents send him on an expedition west with famous gunslinger Jack Straw and his rag-tag crew of mercenaries. Exploring anew the tropes of the cowboy western—Indians, polygamous cultists, “Ghost Riders” and the perils of the open desert—Allen follows the gang to Silver City, the very edge of settled America, to reclaim a treasure stolen by a mysterious man known as “the Yankee,” and perhaps illuminate the fate of Tzu-lu's dead father. With a few playful nods to Washington Irving, Allen mixes western and fantasy into a high adventure coming-of-age, keeping his world's more outré elements grounded with a surfeit of dead-on historical details. "