Territory Paperback – December 6, 2011
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“Takes huge chances and achieves something distinctly wonderful… Readers will think about the story long after it ends, savoring the writing and imagining what the characters might do next.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Mesmerizing… Equal parts alternate history, fantasy, and Western. Remarkable.” ―VOYA
“Lucid and genuine… Her achievement in making it all seem fresh and new is remarkable. Some of the exchanges between Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and others are genius-level in their sharpness and ingenuity.” ―Jeff VanderMeer, Locus
From the Inside Flap
Praise for author Emma Bull:
"Emma Bull is really good."
--Neil Gaiman, internationally bestselling and award-winning author of The Graveyard Book
- Publisher : Tor Books (December 6, 2011)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 318 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0765330199
- ISBN-13 : 978-0765330192
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.48 x 0.83 x 8.28 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,711,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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While there are many delights to be found in this delightful book, author Bull's profound understanding of personality and the nature of the human animal are wrought with finesse, deftly inserted phrases and passags of dialogue. In this way, the reader is led to empathise with characters and to care about their experience, good and bad, e.g. "Anger was like a wildfire in him. He'd thought he was the wildfire . . . now, he knew he was only the tree;" "He felt like a plague carrier. He needed to go before he spread the infection."
Examples such as these proliferate in "Territory" and these wonderful turns of phrase capture the reader in an entirely new world of experience, e.g. "Her whole inner self skidded away from the memory, like slipping on ice." As he ages, Doc Holliday thinks, "Now (he) had less interest in greatness and more in the length of the rope."
Author Bull's lyrical prose is often sheer poetry as in these descriptions, "The trees cast a broad line of breathing shade on either side and rose above it in places like flowers in a vase." And, "In the east, the night sky seemed to be thinning at its edge, tarnished silver instead of ink." And "And sat on his heels in the freckly shade of the mesquite."
Because one of protagonist Jesse Fox's talents is breaking colts, "Territory" offers a scene of his breaking the colt "Spark." That sequence is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful passages I've ever read. Brava! Ms. Bull! Way to go!"
Like the best souffle you've ever had, Emma Bull's prose is as smooth as double cream brie. Beyond the wonderfully developed and intricate plot, her mastery of the craft of writing makes Emma Bull's "Territory" the masterpiece that it is. The book is now one of my faves--and I'll bet it will be one of yours, too.
So what an introduction! Territory is a highly original work that takes the known historical facts about Wyatt Earp and the feud that tore the town of Tombstone apart, and uses them to take us into a fully realized alternate reality.
Jesse Fox is a horse trainer and drifter who finds himself drawn to Tombstone after a run-in with a horse thief. There, Fox meets up with an old friend, a Chinese doctor by the name of Chow Lung. Jesse has always known that he's a little bit different. In fact, he has a horror of ending up locked away in an insane asylum like his sister, a fear that long ago caused him to walk away from a potentially lucrative career as a mining engineer. But it turns out Jesse's arrival in Tombstone is no accident. Using supernatural means, Lung has summoned him on urgent business that will force Jesse to confront the truth about the strange abilities he's tried so hard to deny.
When she married a dreamer, Mildred Benjamin left behind her comfortable life in Jewish society in Philadelphia to come out west. Recently widowed, Millie is determined to make it on her own, and finds work as a typesetter and cub reporter for a Tombstone newspaper. She likes Jesse Fox, but there's something just a little bit freaky going on here ...
As the plot unfolds, Territory becomes many things: a detective story, a historical novel, a western, a magical fantasy -- even an exploration of power, why people seek it, and how they compel others to do their bidding. Emma Bull constructs this story with such craft and sensitivity that each surprising element seems perfectly plausible, never far-fetched or tacked-on. The characters are fresh and three-dimensional, with fictional ones jostling elbows easily with historical ones like Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and and John Ringo.
The book ends on a cliffhanger, and the stakes are nothing less than cosmic. I've heard a sequel is in the works -- faster, please!
Reviewer: Elizabeth Clare, co-author of the historical novel "To the Ends of the Earth: The Last Journey of Lewis & Clark"
Top reviews from other countries
"In this book she combines fantasy (or rather magic) with the Wild West. In Tombstone Arizona, 1881, veins of silver run like leylines under the earth. Anyone who knows how to claim it can use it.
Jesse Fox left his Eastern college education to travel west, where he's made some odd friends, like the physician Chow Lung, who insists that Jesse has a talent for magic, something Jesse doesn't want to believe. In Tombstone he meets the tubercular Doc Holliday - and attracts the attention of Wyatt Earp.
Mildred Benjamin is a young widow making her living as a typesetter, and - ubeknownst to the other ladies of Tombstone - selling tales of Western derring-do to the magazines back east. Like Jesse, Mildred has episodes of seeing things that can't possibly be there.
When a failed holdup leaves two dead, Tombstone explodes with speculation about who attempted the robbery. The truth could destroy Earp's plans for wealth and glory."