After his family is killed by thieves, sole survivor Trey McAlister is taken in by a nearby Comanche clan. Trey has a gift for magic and the clan’s shaman, Singing Crow, makes him an apprentice. While learning to control his powers, Trey bonds with a young warrior and shape shifter, Grey Talon. When they are sent out on a quest to find the missing daughter of a dragon, they encounter the same bandits who murdered Trey’s family, as well as a man made of copper who drives Trey to dig deeper into the magics that created him.
It doesn’t take them long to discover a rancher near Cheyenne, Wyoming is plotting to build a workforce of copper men—and has captured the dragon’s daughter they’ve been searching for. Trey and Grey Talon must draw on all their knowledge and skills to complete their quest—one that grows more complicated, and more dangerous, with each passing day.
Book – Native Wind (Native Ingenuity: First Chronicle)
Author – A.M. Burns
Star rating – ★★★★★
No. of Pages – 216
Cover – Love it so hard!
POV – 3rd person, dual POV
Would I read it again – Yes.
Genre – LGBT, Steampunk, Dragon, MM, Magic, Shifters, Western, Alternative History
** COPY RECEIVED THROUGH NETGALLEY **
Reviewed for Divine Magazine
As a first in the series (and my first by A.M. Burns) I loved this book. I struggled to place it into one genre or category, but at the same time, although there was a lot going on (Alternative History, Western, Steampunk, Shifters) it never felt too much or over done. It never felt like the author was unnecessarily throwing things into the mix.
The world building is just incredible. I can’t even imagine how hard they had to work to get all of it to work together so seamlessly, to make it all seem so natural and logical.
The best thing is that this is suitable for all ages (though I’d probably cut off anyone younger than 14 due to a few fight scenes). There is a sweet, romantic gay relationship between Gray Talon and Trey, but it’s never explicit, I don’t remember any swearing and the whole thing is very time appropriate – Old West style.
As for the characters, I really loved the two main characters – Gray Talon and Trey – who were strong, intelligent men, in an open gay relationship with no stigma from the People, and who were at the same time sensitive, talented and sympathetic to the plight of others.
Add in the feisty female Sarah, the silent but still intriguing Daphne, and Sherriff Derr and his Deputy Toby there was one heck of a team here. All with their own part to play and all interesting enough to reappear in the next Chronicle of this series. I certainly wouldn’t mind reading about any of them in the next book. Which I’ll definitely be reading.
Negatives? Meh. A few issues with spelling/grammar and one instant where Sarah first told us the name of her husband (Gary) only for him to be known as Daniel throughout the rest of the book. Negligible stuff and something that will be spotted in final edits, before release, no doubt. Nothing that interfered with my reading, understanding of the plot or with my enjoyment of the story.
Overall, this was a fantastic blend of genres, that took me back to my days of watching John Wayne movies with my dad. It was nostalgic, simple and complex at the same time, well planned, structured and executed as well as thoroughly entertaining.
That cover made me want this the minute I saw it, without even knowing what the book was about. Did it deliver on what the cover promised? You bet your sweet tail it did. Steampunk? Check. Robots? Check. Dragons? Check. Western? Check. Not to mention romance, shape-shifters, ghosts, an all really brilliant, in depth, sympathetic view into the life of Native Americans and their plight with fighting against the Old West White Men who wanted to take over their land.
I could gush about this book for days. Instead, go read it. Then come back and thank me.