REVIEW 1 of 6
REVIEW 2 of 6
In ways similar to Raiders of the Lost Ark, Boston Teran's By Your Deeds story mixes political/ social intrigue with a fictitious search for a historical remnant. The setting is in the 20s, a world where the rise of Nazism, communism and American paranoia all collided. Into this volatile and confusing time period, we're introduced to Harlan Gamble - a wounded war hero, searching for the lost grave of Genghis Khan - and the young, smart and (eventually) sexy Violette Sier, Gamble's attorney and inevitable love interest.
What ensues is a lot of world travel and clashing ideals, where good and evil sometimes appear to be relative and subjective terms. Rather than tell his story chronologically, Teran jumps around, playing a little fast and loose with time and geography. The reader may be in the relatively primitive streets of Mongolia one moment, for instance, and the more cosmopolitan New York City the next.
No matter where our characters find themselves, though, the world is a treacherously dangerous place.
The story is best told from Sier's perspective. Born into a family where the law profession is held in high esteem, Sier is a rare female attorney in a male-dominated profession. Although she never refers to herself as such, Sier is a kind of feminist lawyer, even taking in fellow female lawyers as borders. Teran paints Sier as a woman who is tough as nails. She has to be. She is also one of only two female primary characters in Teran's story. The other is Missus Jackobee, who hires Sier to be Gamble's attorney. In fact, it is Jackobee who points a mirror back at Sier and forces her to come to grips with how she has sacrificed much of her femininity for the cause of her career. Missus Jackobee is likely the sort of woman Sier only dreams of becoming. She is a mysteriously complicated character. She's a world player without any obvious loyalties. She is worldly, and unafraid of exploring vices of any kind, whether sexual or chemical. Jackobee also mentors Sier to some degree, like a tempting devil sitting atop her shoulder.
It's easy to picture Harrison Ford playing Gamble with a devil-may-care reckless abandon. He's brave to a fault, and - to some degree - a more physically adventurous, male version of Missus Jackobee. Gabriel the Dragon, Gamble's Mongolian tour guide and fellow adventurer, is also pivotal to the story. Without him, Gamble would not be able to navigate his exotic travels. Gabriel needs Gamble just as much as Gamble relies upon Gabriel, however. At one point, Gabriel tells his friend that Gamble gives him relevance. It's also worth noting Gabriel is a homosexual during a time when such a sexual identity was not even close to acceptable, as it is today. If it were not for Gamble's adventures, Gabriel would likely spend too much of his time hanging around brothels and opium dens, without much purpose.
Characters in By Your Deeds talk a lot about the future. As we look back at all the competing ideologies that fought for world dominance back in the 20s, these indeed were days where future societies were solidified, for better or worse. This was a time when the value of democratic government was being questioned and put to the test around the world. It was both an exciting and scary time to be alive. The reader is aware that these conflicts would only intensify as the 20th century raced to its end. Lovers of modern history will eat this book up. It's filled with the sorts of building blocks that would one day comprise the foundation of the Cold War. Best of all, it puts flesh and blood onto the pages of history. These were, after all, real people struggling to make sense of it all.
Dan MacIntosh - Pacific Book Review
REVIEW 3 of 6
By Your Deeds tells the vivid story of one Violette Sier, a female attorney of the 1920s New York... who follows her impossible dreams, of a nation coming of age against the backdrop of war, of survival against all odds, and of a decorated soldier's last dream of traveling to Mongolia retracing the journeys of Genghis Khan: a pursuit that places him in more danger than his what he faced
REVIEW 4 of 6
What would possess someone to search for the grave of Genghis Khan, the founder and the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, who was buried in an unmarked grave somewhere in Mongolia at an unknown location?
Harlan Gamble, the protagonist in Boston Teran's latest novel, By Your Deeds is obsessed with finding the grave although the end result may not be as important to him as the journey itself as he believes in the adage "it is better to have traveled well, than to arrive."
Gamble is a survivor of World War l and after the war traveled from the USA to Italy, to Paris, to Berlin, to the steppes of Russia,to the far reaches of Mongolia in his quest to find Almsgivers Castle where supposedly Genghis Khan was buried.
He is a decorated officer who had been one of the first to have faced mustard gas which nearly cost him his eyesight. In 1923 he is discovered in New York supposedly drunk or on drugs after he had spent some time in Mongolia. It is here where a Missus Jackobee, whom he had previously met, makes arrangements for him to go to the Fitch Sanitarium in the Bronx.
Jackobee has no legal connection to him and through a referral from someone engages an attorney, Violette Sier to represent Gamble who is detained in the Men's Asylum for the criminally insane. She is also to represent him in a publishing deal with a publisher, a Mister Picard, in Paris concerning his manuscript about his journey into Mongolia to find the grave of the Genghis Khan. Sier is one of those rare females practising law in 1923 and is subjected to all kinds of harassment. Her specialty is representing women, indigents and those unlawfully detained in asylums on Wards Island.
Jackobee entrusts the manuscript to Sier and tells her that it is the only complete copy and she must take extreme precautions. Sier has no idea what she is getting herself into and what will be her ultimate relationship with Gamble as well as her own self-discovery.
She reminds herself of her father's saying, who was a judge, "when it comes to a client, always anchor yourself somewhere between healthy skepticism and absolute gullibility." When Sier opens the package containing the manuscript she notices that it was typed in some kind of a code.
The story skips back to the summer of 1922 in Mestre, Italy where we learn about Elias Gartner who had introduced Gamble to Jackobee, who at the time intimated that she might see to arranging the finances for Gamble's journey to Mongolia.
In Mestre, Gamble and Gartner are hired to deliver a Cadillac to Munich and from there they would be traveling to Berlin to meet up with Jackobee. We learn Gartner's connection to Gamble was that after the war Gamble was confined to a ward in a church to recuperate and being nearly blind Gartner was hired to read to him. During their readings, Gamble learned about the audacious, bold epic tale about Genghis Khan and "about a place he had never seen, whose language,clothes, food, rituals, homes, weapons was as alien to him as the lost content of Atlantis."
Unfortunately, Gamble did not know the real immoral Gartner and his ulterior motives nor did he realize at the time that his venture would attract the attention of the American Justice Department as well as the Soviets, who both had an interest in discovering the burial site of the Genghis Khan and also in finding out what was in Gamble's manuscript. Along the journey, Gamble also meets a most unusual character who plays a very vital role in the novel, Gabriel the Dragon who serves as his guide and ambassador.
The narrative is a superior work of fiction and as mysterious as the authors. No author's bio is provided and if you Goggle Boston Teran you will find all kinds of theories and speculations as to their true identity.
Within this powerful moving saga, the author holds and captures readers with an intellectually stimulating thriller while weaving a great deal of fascinating history recalling social unrest, the rise of the Nazi party, the trade movement in the USA, antisemitism, Soviet involvement in Mongolia and the hunt for communists in the USA in the early part of the twentieth century.
Above all to be commended is the author's numerous gifts particularly the economy of style and a unique sensibility with which he or she observes and records the political madness and human condition in a world in which cultural violence, mystery and danger lurks everywhere be it in the USA, Europe or Mongolia.
Norm Goldman - Bookpleasures.com
REVIEW 5 of 6
"Before the world, or fate,or time, or wounds suffered in war blind me, I want to see. I am desperate for the seeing."
Award-winning author Boston Teran electrifies readers with nonstop action and adventure as the main character, Harlan Gamble, travels throughout Europe, including Paris and Berlin, en route to Mongolia, possessed by his quest to find the Almsgiver Castle, an ironic moniker for the grave of a brutal ruler, Genghis Khan. Being mindful of pace and utilizing a free-flowing writing style, Teran easily captures the reader's attention. However, the audience's focus is undoubtedly held by the depth of each character. . .from the conniving Elias Gartner's unethical friendship with Harlan Gamble during during their post-war recovery to Gamble's own desire to find meaning in his life as his vision slowly deteriorates to complete blindness, the characters can be seen philosophizing and emphasizing the desire of have truly lived.
The narrative opens with a sickly Harlan Gamble in a Mongolian monastery, being tended to by his friend and guide, Lord Gabriel Hanover. There are essentially two stories that are being narrated: the story of Harlan Gamble's first journey to Mongolia (1922), his encounter with the mystique-laden Missus Jackobee, and his second journey to Mongolia (1923) that begins with his freedom from New York's Ward's Island Asylum by attorney, and female protagonist, Violette Sier. The fusion of these two narratives. . .that begins in New York zooms through Europe like a rollercoaster, forging alliances for some, sealing death sentences for others, and ultimately providing edge-of your-seat entertainment.
Mihir Shah - The U.S. Review of Books
REVIEW 6 of 6
In popular author Boston Teran's latest entry, By Your Deeds, an e-book at $9.99, the author has created a wonderful read for those who appreciate political thrillers intertwined with a powerful love story.
The story and characters are compelling, riveting and above all stay with you after you have finished reading and closed the book. I have read some of Boston's other books such as The Creed of Violence and God is a Bullet too. For me, By Your Deeds is Boston at his or her best (we do not know what gender Boston is...it's a secret, we assume) and this book stands high among one of the best ever.
The author craftily fuses romance, political intrigue and spirited adventure, all set in the prophetic and explosive 1920s era that is embodied in its two main characters - - the early feminist lawyer Vivian Sier and the memorable and wounded war hero, Harlan Gamble, who is on a quest, among other things, to find the fabled grave of Genghis Khan in Mongolia. The book takes the reader on what often feels like time travel....on one page you find yourself maybe in Asia and soon, on another page, you're on the streets of New York. This is all woven together in By Your Deeds that is a true page turner and an e-book keeper for all times.
If you have never read Boston Teran's books, pick up a copy and start your collection. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I have. For me...I would guess Boston Teran is female.
I give this book 5 book trees!
Dorothy Thompson - The Literary Nook