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Book Review: His Ragged Company

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“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.”

Title: His Ragged Company

Series: Testimonies of Elias Faust #1

Author: Rance D. Denton

Page Count: 424

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.5/5.0

Date Read: June 4th, 2023

His Ragged Company was our June read from our Buddy Read Group. I started getting interested in this one a month or two ago when I seen it nominated for our group’s monthly voting. I knew it wasn’t a typical western story. With that being said, I did not anticipate the amount of weird in this western. It was a surprise but didn’t really detract from my enjoyment of it. I think timing was key as well as my past gaming experience with the weird west theme.
This one started off with a prologue touching on the weird, but then quickly settled into a more general western theme for a bit starting in chapter one. It doesn’t take long for the odd to show up again though.
The pacing was done well. This was a very fast and easy read. I think the only thing that might have some effect on readers is some of the time jumps. I didn’t have much trouble with this since I was visually reading this book. I could see this being a bit more difficult on the audiobook version if you weren’t hyper focused when it happens. That’s just my own experience with other books like this.
The world building was great for me. As mentioned we have a general western theme as our backdrop. But there are some really wild and fantastical aspects as well. We are talking magic, gods and perhaps beings from other worlds. There is simply a lot going on with His Ragged Company.
The character development was just as strong for me. We have quite a few main characters beyond our protagonist’s point of view. We have numerous supporting characters either for or against Elias. Just like the world building we have some great characters in this one as well. Of course we do see some growth along the way for many of these characters. It was easy to grow fond of some and disappointed in others and down right detestation of others. We have a couple of interesting twists and turns with some characters along the way too which was nice to see in this read!
All in all this was a really enjoyable read for me. I do believe the timing was right as it gave me a unique break from my usual reads. I found myself powering through this one in just a couple of days.
I’d recommend this one for someone looking for something weird. It does have that western backdrop but beyond that it’s a very fantastical story. The fact this is currently in a series titled “Testimonies of Elias Faust” makes me hope there are more of these planned for the future!

World Building 4.5/5
Pacing 4.0/5
Character Development 4.5/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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