The Old West of America was a lure for many in the 1800s. Freedom and rumors of gold created a frenzy of movement, wagon trains were the mode of travel, and danger lurked at every turn.
In Maps of Fate, a novel by Reid Lance Rosenthal, we follow the amazing journey of a group of young men and women who are dreaming their own dreams and experiencing their own drama as the rush to settle the West is in its infancy.
We met the characters in Book one of the Threads West series, where the introductions took us back to their homes across the seas and their very reason for being in America. As the story continues, we tail them into the West following the trail of the ancestors of many who have settled in the Midwest and Western part of this country. The romance is thrilling and the danger is exciting, yet the story captures your imagination as it creates a strong fear of the unknown.
As we follow Zeb, Reuben and Johannes and the women they love as they carve out a piece of history, we meet the natives and the outlaws, both with their own quests. Life on the trail and the rigors of traveling with a wagon train are brought to basic relief as the story continues to unfold. Danger within the group creates almost as much damage as the dangers they face from the outside on this epic journey. We being to hear the rumblings of dissent as the story furthers. News makes its way West through the writings and newspapers, hinting of a war brewing between the North and the South.
Hostility and rage drive some, while glory and choice drive the others. The creak of the leather and the rumble of the wheels create the sounds and sights that bring alive an exciting saga. You can actually smell the smells, and hear the sound of the wind as the trail takes you deeper into the unexplored territories. Rosenthal has surpassed his previous work and given us such a complex telling you feel as though each and every story is true. The horror and danger are real, yet the excitement and challenge are the edge that builds the heroes of the time.
The description of the characters is flawless, creating a feeling of knowing. You love them or hate them, but the feeling is real. The romance is fierce and gentle at the same time, but the savagery is just as abundant. The interaction of the group draws you in as you become immersed in their daily lives and begin to dream their dreams. Where you could only imagine what life at this time in history could be like, you now can begin to live it through the characterization of this wonderful group.
The story is exciting, the suspense is bold, and the period setting is sensational. You can smell the sage, and are startled with the unexpected sounds as you travel with the team. The sounds and sights are so real you begin to place yourself in the scenes, viewing the happenings as they occur, reeling with the danger and feeling the fear and adrenalin as you too take this journey.
If you love a great story and love history this is a fantastic work. If you enjoy romance, suspense, danger and action this would be a great book for your library. The work stands on its own, but the saga is certainly worth the read. The beginning sets the stage, but you can join up anywhere. Be prepared to become engaged, as Rosenthal sets the stage for another leg of this fascinating journey.