The Prairies Book Review

A sweeping, adventurous tale…

Set in 1898, Gordon’s briskly paced, highly entertaining tale focuses on a teenage Jewish boy who ventures into the wilderness of Alaskan goldfields to seek his fortune but finds himself in the middle of a war between the good and evil. When 17-year-old Samuel Rothman boarded a ship from San Francisco with his best friend Liam Kampen for Alaska to try his luck in gold mining, he had nothing else but a bit of adventure and some riches on his mind. But seeking a fortune in a small Alaskan town where the good and the righteous are relentlessly in a war with their ruthless opponents is not as easy as it seems on the surface: Samuel must tread his way carefully or risk losing himself to the wild, unforgiving Alaskan terrains. An adventurous story at heart, the narrative goes far beyond the exploration of Samuel’s journey as a gold-digger in the small mining town: Gordon sweeps Samuel up in the turmoil of a town torn apart by a ruthless war between the good and the greedy, creating a remarkable coming-of-age story as the latter realizes his true aspirations. Gordon’s beautifully imagined prose has clarity and dimension, and he keeps the pacing relatively quick and does justice to the impressive array of characters. Samuel’s emergence from a typical teenage self-doubt is beautifully imagined. Ripe on unforeseen twists and shocking turns, this fast-paced adventure will delight action-adventure fans as well as lovers of nuanced coming-of-age tales. This is a complete entertainment package.

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