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One Night in Sixes (Children of the Drought) Mass Market Paperback – July 29, 2014
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"When young Sil Halfwick’s attempt to sell horses ends in abject failure, he...heads west toward Sixes, near the border of lands emptied of white settlers by war and invasion. It falls to Appaloosa Elim—a mixed-race man who’s older, wiser, and scorned by Sil—to try to keep the ambitious young idiot alive...Thompson’s debut is clearly written and engaging." (Publisher's Weekly http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-78108-238-6)
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Top Customer Reviews
A fantasy western, the debut novel, One Night in Sixes is the first in the Children of the Drought series by author Arianne "Tex" Thompson.
I've never come across a book quite as unique as this. The premise isn't complicated; two ranch workers, Sil Halfwick, a white man from up north and a very determined horse salesman and his mixed-race, part human, part Sundowner mule (mixed race side-kick) Appaloosa Elim, set out to sell some horses. But the town where Sil and Elim are headed, the town of Sixes, isn't like any other town.
Sixes is a place where by day, things appear to be normal on the surface, but as the sun sets, the true nature of this fantasy land comes alive and not necessarily in a good way.
War ravaged with danger lurking in the adobe buildings of this town on the wrong-side of the river, Elim is all too aware of not wanting to be caught in the cross-hairs of the mayhem that night brings out in Sixes.
But it's too late and the loyal Elim follows the hard-headed Sil into a land ripe with mystery that is appealing as it unfolds on the pages and we learn about what drives Elim's fear of this notorious town and the races that inhabit the sun-burned lands with a history that is bloody and not to be forgotten.
It is a complex piece of work. I am glad a glossary was included because it was necessary when trying to define the distinct terms of the languages of the land and people of Sixes.Read more ›
First, the cover art immediately made me notice it because I was reminded of those wonderful western novels by Max Brand and Louis L'Amour which I absolutely devoured and still have stacked on bookshelves. I was also intrigued by knowing this was a fantasy and I love to read fantasy. So how would that combination work? I was totally receptive to being entertained. The basic plot of this novel is that Appaloosa Elim and Sil Halfwick work on a ranch and have been sent to a town to sell a herd of horses and take the money back to their boss. Elim is a half-breed and Sil is a very young, immature white, except this fantasy world isn't anywhere close to being that straightforward. Elim is the levelheaded one, but because he is a "half" he is a mule, as close to a slave as you can get. Simply because of his color Sil is highly regarded, plus he has magic talents based on his Northern heritage. When the horses don't sell in the town the men have gone to Sil gets the bright idea of taking them into completely forbidden territory, on to the town of Sixes, to make a quick sale so he can turn over the money to Elim to take back to the ranch but then hightail it back to his own true home. It turns out there is a very good reason for not staying in Sixes after the sun goes down.
Now, doesn't that all sound like a really good story? A nice Western with some paranormal influences added to give it that extra kick. And it would have been a good story for me if I hadn't spent so much time confused and trying to figure out what all the strange words were.Read more ›
The sun is merciless in this story. Everyone hurries through it, when they have to go outdoors at all. And one scorching afternoon, two cowboys with twenty horses for sale cross the river. They have very different agendas, and their misunderstandings and fears, combined with those they blunder into, drive two days' and nights' worth of violent events which threaten the many communities of Sixes, each in different ways.
I don't read a lot of westerns or fantasy, but I liked this book. There is a lot of thematic depth. We see refracted visions of racism and slavery. We see a coming-of-age story and a long meditation on loyalty. There is political intrigue, unrequited love, and a murder mystery. The question of justice hovers over this story, as different communities understand it differently and struggle to apply it to facts they have to fight to understand. The author doesn't give everything away as she goes along - events first understood in one way take on very different meanings later.
The narration does not let you rest for a moment. I am a fan of Elmore Leonard, who is supposed to have said of his own stories - originally westerns, by the way - that he tried to leave out the parts that people skip. The prose in this book is really sharp, and the story has a lot of drive.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The older I get and the taller my TBR pile becomes, the more likely I am to set a book aside if it doesn't grab me. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Brandon Stenger
This review originally posted in www.lookingforagoodbook.com. Rated 2.0 of 5
I <em>really</em> wanted to read this book. Read more
I've longed for a fantasy/western that feels like this book feels for a long time. The world is interesting, the characters are interesting. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Dylan Green
I don't often read Westerns, but this one sucked me in. Thompson is an incredibly insightful writer, and this comes through in descriptions that are both poignant and... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Carrie E Lytle
What starts feeling a little like "The Wild Wild West" - the TV show, not the movie - quickly morphs into why I kept thinking of as a "Firefly" meets... Read morePublished 8 months ago by displacedtexan
Too many characters, none of them well developed, and the two main characters were pretty unlikable.Published 11 months ago by Steve Radcliff
I really enjoyed this book. As the cover portrays, there is more than first meets the eye. Thompson does a great job of taking a world we THINK we know and weaving interesting... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Rebecca Thomason
Thompson has an incredible grip on the complexity that can arise when vastly different cultures are struggling to co-exist. Read morePublished 11 months ago by MW