HIS RAGGED COMPANY | RANCE D. DENTON
Well, here we are again with another book. This time it's the weird western, His Ragged Company by Rance D. Denton. I kindly received a copy of the audiobook from the author, and also have the book.
A pissed-off warlock with a taste for revenge.
An army of sand-golems with fistfuls of magic.
A wishing well with a mind of its own.
No wonder Blackpeak, Texas never got its spot on the map.
Town marshal Elias Faust thinks that he can make any problem go away if he throws enough lead at it. The living’s easy for a lawman. Bloody, but easy – that is, until Magnate Gregdon arrives with his undead syndicate to tear the town of Blackpeak, Texas apart.
When a shootout with a pair of outlaws goes sideways, Elias Faust accidentally draws the Magnate’s attention. As if dealing with arcane sorcery, reanimated corpses, and the Magnate’s personal vendetta aren’t enough, Faust finds himself at the center of a power-struggle for Blackpeak’s eldritch secrets.
Suddenly, staying alive just got a lot more complicated.
Hunted by a cadre of sandshades and hounded by sinister spellcraft, Elias Faust may be the only bag of skin defiant enough to keep Blackpeak from being destroyed. To outlast the Magnate’s disciples, he’ll need to shoot straighter, run faster, and live longer…even if it means sacrificing a part of himself to do just that.
His Ragged Company is one of those books that I couldn't help but like. With its mix of gritty western, weird fiction and a dash of sci fi, Rance D. Denton immediately pulls you in.
The book revolves around Elias Faust, the marshall of the town of Blackpeak, Texas, a sinkhole of a town that has one big massive secret at its heart, a mystical well.
The book starts immediately with Elias slung over a horse running from imminent danger.
I must say, when I started this, Rance D. Denton just chucks you into the story. It is so sudden I thought I had missed something and had to rewind the audio thinking it was playing up. However, when I listened to the start again, I realised that nope, the story starts like a galloping horse.
I loved this book! Gotta say it! It was just how I like my books, absolutely barking mad. It's like the bastard child of John Ford and Brian Hodge with a bit of deadwood thrown in for the laugh. I never ever knew where this book was going and in the end I thought 'buggerit, let's just get in the back of this multi coloured stallion and go with it'
I know I haven't told you what it is about, but sometimes not knowing all the ins and outs of the plot adds to the enjoyment.
However, what also adds to this book besides the out of this world plot are the characters. They are both stereotypical and totally individual at the same time. Elias Faust works primarily on fairness and common sense, but if he has to get tough he will. However, there are a myriad other residents both inside and outside the town of Blackpeak, Texas who all add to the vivacity of the town.
In respect of the book itself, it is very episodic in its structure, and this can initially seem like the pacing may be a bit off. However, when it comes to he second half of the book, the structure is more cohesive with a traditional narrative coming to the fore. However, for me, I found that it worked kinda well and this added to the weirdness of the book as a whole.
As well as reading this, I actually listened to the audiobook of this as well, which I thought was really well performed by John Pirhalla who managed to put on a convincing western style performance.
If you like your books with a western flavour, that is as mad as a box of frogs, then I think this one may definitely be up your alley.