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“Territory ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 20/05/2007

Emma Bull
Tor, July 2007, $24.95, 320 pp.
ISBN: 0312857357

In Tombstone in the Arizona Territory, Wyatt Earp seems to run things though he was defeated in the race for sheriff. Doc Holiday, who is dying of consumption, is in remission, and he believes it has something to do with Wyatt who needs him and regards him as part of his family. As long as Wyatt can draw on the support of his family including Doc, he is a power to be reckoned with, a man who always gets what he wants.

Jesse Fox was summoned to Tombstone by his friend and mentor, the powerful sorcerer Lung Chow. He stays because his friend needs him and because of his interest in typesetter, journalist and writer Mildred Benjamin. He becomes Wyatt's enemy when he helps a prisoner escape, someone Earp wants hung to protect his brother who was one of the gang that tried to rob a stagecoach and ended up killing a man. When Lung is murdered, Jesse vows to avenge his death even if it means becoming a sorcerer like his friend was.

This is a fascinating and exciting historical fantasy in the tradition of Judith Tarr. Emma Bull's take of the legend of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and other famous men of the Wild West is fascinating. Jesse grows and changes as he learns to accept the fact that he is a conjurer and he ends up using his rookie powers in a High Noon fight at the OK Corral to neutralize an experienced sorcerer who has too long not been held accountable for the murders he committed. TERRITORY is a spellbinding tale of the good and dark side of magic.

Harriet Klausner

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