Peacemaker: A well-done bit of Weird West with a likeable protagonist

Peacemaker by K.A. Stewart fantasy book reviewsPeacemaker by K.A. Stewart

K.A. Stewart‘s Peacemaker gives us an alternate America (Kansas, to be exact) in which most people have magic, arcane-powered transports replace the horses they’re modeled on, and Native American magic is strong enough that the USA stops at the Rockies. The eponymous Peacemaker (think US Marshal), Caleb Marcus, brings his magic, his staff and his familiar (a cute jackalope named Ernst) to the town of Hope, where he has to deal with a Bad Wealthy Rancher.

I give that last phrase capitals because he’s a trope, one of a number of tropish characters. The friendly saloonkeeper (who’s Scottish), the helpful general store owner, the grumpy blacksmith (who’s Swedish), the schoolmarm, the kid who’s running a bit wild but has potential, the mysterious old Indian shaman. They do come through as individuals, though, not just chess pieces or cardboard cutouts (and, after all, there are a limited number of roles you can have in a Western).

The protagonist of Peacemaker is the Wounded Veteran, something he struggles with through the course of the book, though it helps rather than hinders him when the chips are down. He fought for the Union in the Civil War and lost a chunk of his power, as well as gaining a nasty scar. He seems to have plenty of power left, though.

Although it doesn’t break new ground particularly, this story puts a fun spin on some beloved tropes, and is told fluently and engagingly. It’s well-edited; I found only six minor typos, which, if you follow my reviews, you’ll know is a small number (I often get into double figures even with traditionally-published books). At the end is an excerpt from another series by Stewart, an urban fantasy which I’ll probably track down.

All in all, Peacemaker is a good bit of entertainment.

Published October 28, 2016. Caleb Marcus is a Peacemaker, a roving lawman tasked with maintaining the peace and bringing control to magic users on the frontier. A Peacemaker isn’t supposed to take a life—but sometimes, it’s kill or be killed… After a war injury left him half-scoured of his power, Caleb and his jackalope familiar have been shipped out West, keeping them out of sight and out of the way of more useful agents. And while life in the wild isn’t exactly Caleb’s cup of tea, he can’t deny that being amongst folk who aren’t as powerful as he is, even in his poor shape, is a bit of a relief. But Hope isn’t like the other small towns he’s visited. The children are being mysteriously robbed of their magical capabilities. There’s something strange and dark about the local land baron who runs the school. Cheyenne tribes are raiding the outlying homesteads with increasing frequency and strange earthquakes keep shaking the very ground Hope stands on. Something’s gone very wrong in the Wild West, and it’s up to Caleb to figure out what’s awry before he ends up at the end of the noose—or something far worse…

SHARE:  Facebooktwitterredditpinteresttumblrmail  FOLLOW:  Facebooktwitterrsstumblr
If you plan to buy this book, you can support FanLit by clicking on the book cover above and buying it (and anything else) at Amazon. It costs you nothing extra, but Amazon pays us a small referral fee. Click any book cover or this link. We use this income to keep the site running. It pays for website hosting, postage for giveaways, and bookmarks and t-shirts. Thank you!

MIKE REEVES-MCMILLAN, one of our guest reviewers, has eight bookcases which are taller than he is in his basement, and 200 samples on his Kindle. He's trying to cut down. A lifelong lover of the written word, he's especially a fan of Jim Butcher, Lois McMaster Bujold, Terry Pratchett and Roger Zelazny. He reads a lot of indie fiction these days, and can report that the quality and originality are both improving rapidly. He himself writes the Gryphon Clerks fantasy series, and numerous short stories. Mike lives in Auckland, New Zealand, and also in his head, where the weather is more predictable and there are a lot more dragons. He rants about writing and genre at The Gryphon Clerks and about books he's read at The Review Curmudgeon.

View all posts by

One comment

  1. I gave it five stars when I read it a couple of years ago. I liked the familiar and the characters and found the story interesting and different.

Review this book and/or Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *