May 24, 2011

Rope of Thorns by Gemma Files Review

by Gemma Files
ChiZine Publications
ISBN: 978-1926851143
Review by Robert Walter
Review posted 05/24/2011

This is Gemma Files second book in the three part Hexslinger series published by Chizine Publications. The first The Book of Tongues was published in April 2010.

This book continues where The Book of Tongues left off. It is a bit confusing in the prologue due to the choppy writing to give the effect of old-time Western Union wire messages, but this gives way fairly quickly to the story itself. We come back to the characters “Reverand” Asher Rook, Chess Pargeter, Ed Morrow etc and get to know some new ones as well and leaves the reader ready for the third and final book in the series, A Tree of Bones, due in 2012.

Ms. Files has a unique style that melds magic hexes with Mayan mythology along with fantasy in a wild-west setting heading for an end of the world apocalypse. While much is familiar to the wild-west fan (Pinkerton Detectives looking for criminals) there is plenty different as well (In this wild-west the characters don’t use six-guns, they use hex-guns). It does get difficult at times to recognize which point of view is speaking as well as understand all of the action, but this book pulls the reader in past these difficulties into the world of the characters.

As with the previous book, there are some homosexual language/scenes in the book which seemed a bit too raw and graphic for the purpose of the story. This does add to the unique nature of this book since homosexuality in a western story is so rare.

This book overall has enjoyable writing and characters as well as a richness to the story. Due to the unique mix of the story, I recommend it to anyone of age, even if they don’t normally enjoy westerns or fantasy.