Raid of Souls (Empire Barons)
Raid of Souls by Kalen Vaughan Johnson is the edition that followed Robbing the Pillars. A vibrant novel alive with beautifully descriptive writing ignited an engaging pulse within each page. The narrative fueled authentic realism to the characters’ personalities and the burdens life had placed upon their shoulders. A window to western America’s mining towns and ranches examined the struggles of daily life in America’s west during the gold rush era without attempting to romanticize America’s past.
The early years of the state of California had hundreds of settlers migrating in hopes of securing their piece of the “California Dream.” Many with honest intentions and hopes to build a prosperous future for their families. The hope of a better life inspired the journey to the west through endless hardships the raw spirit of perseverance propelled the weary settlers to the American dream.
Raid of Souls carefully examined life in various locations via individual chapters dedicated to Collier Ranch, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Nevada City. The backdrop of dusty streets, stagecoaches, saloons, frightening mines, ranches, and a bird’s eye view of the ranch life and the daily lives of mining town dwellers fostered continual wonder for the reader.
The main protagonist James MacLaren was a rugged soul who had endured much to earn this stake in the American dream. He bravely faced the corrupt syndicate cleverly hidden behind the scenes amongst the everyday people of the mining industry who had a nefarious agenda to ruin the towns’ livelihoods via corruption, deceit, and greed.
Johnson’s portrayal of James’s persona was more than a brilliantly written character alive with tumultuous hurdles to overcome. He was a solid depiction of a rugged American man with a heart for justice, a soul riddled with pain, and a mind with a penchant for justice. His character exuded the gritty bravery of a true American man.
In the midst of exposing the villainous syndicate and his attempts to save the miners were paved with endless difficulties. The miners were mere pawns and casualties of the syndicate’s clandestine corruption. James began to lose touch with what truly mattered. His love for Althea and her son Justin. In addition, James’ daughter Charlotte’s love story turned from heartwarming to a love dismantled by his disapproval of the socio-economic differences with an objectionable suitor.
Raid of Souls is wonderfully entertaining historical fiction with a trained eye for authentic historical details that will surely encourage readers new to the genre to pursue reading additional historical fiction novels in the future. Also, verifiable facts will impress history buffs who could appreciate Johnson’s accuracy and impressive research.
|Kalen Vaughan Johnson
|Five Star Publishing
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