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The Spirit of Thunder Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Roc; First Edition edition (March 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451458702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451458704
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 4.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,397,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The sequel to The Year the Cloud Fell (2001) continues the story of George Armstrong Custer Jr. as a war leader of an independent Cheyenne nation in an alternate Old West. Gold has just been discovered in Cheyenne territory, and young Custer warns his friends that the greedy white men, led by his father, President Custer, will be even more inimical toward the Cheyenne than they have already been. He is right, as the U.S. Army tries to push a railroad up into Cheyenne territory. The rest of the conflict in the book revolves around preventing the railroad from going through, and the fighting revolves around a key bridge--shades of The Bridge on the River Kwai. Giambastiani isn't outstanding at rationalizing many of the differences between his and the real Old West, such as the dinosaurs the Cheyenne use for riding, but makes up for that shortcoming with informed, reverent extrapolation on Cheyenne culture. A qualified but real success among alternate histories of the American West. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Kurt R. A. Giambastiani has had short stories published in Dragon Magazine, Talebones, and Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine, among others. He has been a reviewer for such publications as Talebones, Realms of Fantasy, and Aboriginal Science Fiction. He is currently a project manager/software designer/computer programmer in the Seattle area, where he lives with his wife, two cats, and a dog.

More About the Author

Kurt R.A. Giambastiani is the author of nine novels, including the acclaimed alternate history series, The Fallen Cloud Saga. He is known for blending genres in his novels, and for strong historical and cultural detail.

Born in the San Francisco Bay Area, he studied music at SFSU and at the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem, Israel. He played viola for many years in orchestras and chamber groups, until he took up writing in the early '90s. Kurt now lives in Seattle, where he works as a software developer and blogs about writing and living in the Pacific Northwest.

When not working or writing, he likes to cook, garden, and repair antique clocks and pocketwatches.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on March 3, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
On an Earth that never was but might have been, General George Custer was never defeated at the battle of Little BigHorn. Instead he won a glorious victory, became a national hero, and went on to become president of the United States. George Custer Jr. followed his father into the army but he was not the warrior his father was nor was he interested in the political games necessary to gain power.

When his hot air balloon went down on lands belonging to the Indian Nation of the Cheyenne Alliance (see THE YEAR THE CLOUD FELL), George Jr. saw how intelligent and kind these so-called savages really were. He shifted his allegiance to the Cheyenne and fought against his own father, winning a great victory. Now One Who Flies (George Jr.) must somehow find a way to stop his father from building a railroad that will bring the white man onto Indian land.

Kurt P.A. Giambastiani has written an extremely entertaining alternative history work that readers will thoroughly enjoy. The action shifts from Washington DC to the lands of the Cheyenne Alliance so that the audience understands the points of view as well as the causes and reactions taken by both cultures. THE SPIRIT OF THUNDER is a work that sub-genre fans will consider a classic in a few years.

Harriet Klausner
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Arthur W. Jordin on February 20, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Spirit of Thunder (2002) is the second fantasy novel in the Fallen Cloud series, following The Year the Cloud Fell. In the previous volume, George Armstrong Custer, Junior, called One Who Flies, guides a raid by the Cheyenne Alliance to Washington, DC, and captures the Capitol building while congress is in session. The Cheyennes negotiate a peace treaty with the leaders of congress and then return home. There, Speaks While Leaving has found a golden nugget within a crack in a boulder.

In this novel, One Who Flies recognizes the possibilities, both for good and bad, from the gold on Cheyenne land. He digs up some of the gold, but needs proper tools to reach the main lode. Speaks While Leaving is disturbed and angry at the condition of the dig and tells him a vision of restoring the land after digging out the gold. One Who Flies journeys to a trading post to trade furs for tools and there he meets Vincent D'Avignon, a trader who recognizes his intent to mine gold and offers to help him. Eventually, Vincent becomes an advisor and partner to the Cheyenne.

Back in Washington, a bill in the Senate calls for a major railroad extension crossing the entire state of Yankton and bridging over the Missouri in order to open up the Unorganized Territory to settlement. Custer supports the bill and sends General Herron west to command the project, with Lieutenant Colonel Craig Shafer to command the engineers who will build the bridge.

The Army also pushes out many to the previously conquered tribes over the Big Greasy, the Missouri river. The Cheyenne fight back, but are overwhelmed by the numerous well-armed soldiers. The Army protects the railroad with forts along its lengths and soon has forts being built in the Unorganized Territories.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By perclover on April 19, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
'The Spirit of Thunder' picks up right where 'The Year The Cloud Fell' leaves off and soon the reader is swept up into another rollicking good tale set in a world that is familiar, yet not. In this series, General George Armstrong Custer has survived his time in the army to emerge as the leader of an America that is quite different from the 19th Century we know. Giambastiani surmises that the inland sea that once stretched from what is now called the Gulf of Mexico up through Texas and into the Great Plains never receded. This meant that the habitat of the Cretaceous period only changed gradually, so some of the dinosaurs that once roamed North America survived with only minor evolutionary changes. Native Americans managed to 'domesticate' a few species of dinosaurs and this has given them a fighting chance against the more technologically advanced European settlers that rely on horses as their main means of transport in the frontier. Because of this, westward expansion has been slow, but America is now determined to claim the land they feel is rightly theirs.
In 'The Year the Cloud Fell', we followed President Custer's son and his accidental encounter with the Cheyenne nation. In 'The Spirit of Thunder', George Jr. must take up arms alongside the Cheyenne against his father's forces. Will his insight into the military tactics and technology of his people be enough to turn the tide and give his new allies the upper hand? Can this son-of-the-enemy ever truly be accepted or trusted by the Cheyenne people?
Luckily, my wife and I decided to dive into this novel while on vacation. It is so engrossing that it was very difficult to put it down and turn out the light at night.
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