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Territory (2007)

af Emma Bull

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MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
6903924,685 (3.85)66
Wyatt Earp. Doc Holliday. Ike Clanton.   You think you know the story. You don't.   Tombstone, Arizona in 1881 is the site of one of the richest mineral strikes in American history, where veins of silver run like ley lines under the earth, a network of power that belongs to anyone who knows how to claim and defend it. Above the ground, power is also about allegiances. A magician can drain his friends' strength to strengthen himself, and can place them between him and danger. The one with the most friends stands to win the territory. Jesse Fox left his Eastern college education to travel West, where he's made some decidedly odd friends, like the physician Chow Lung, who insists that Jesse has a talent for magic. In Tombstone, Jesse meets the tubercular Doc Holliday, whose inner magic is as suppressed as his own, but whose power is enough to attract the sorcerous attention of Wyatt Earp.   Mildred Benjamin is a young widow making her living as a newspaper typesetter, and--unbeknownst 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 stage holdup results in two dead, Tombstone explodes with speculation about who attempted the robbery. The truth could destroy Earp's plans for wealth and glory, and he'll do anything to bury it. Meanwhile, outlaw leader John Ringo wants the same turf as Earp. Each courts Jesse as an ally, and tries to isolate him by endangering his friends, as they struggle for magical dominance of the territory. Events are building toward the shootout of which you may have heard. But you haven't heard the whole, secret story until you've read Emma Bull's unique take on an American legend, in which absolutely nothing is as it seems...… (mere)
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» Se også 66 omtaler

Engelsk (38)  Fransk (1)  Alle sprog (39)
Viser 1-5 af 39 (næste | vis alle)
One of the best books I've read all year. ( )
  treehorse | Nov 7, 2019 |
In brief: a must for fantasy fans who grew up on Westerns. Character-driven contemplative fantasy where action and magical systems take a backseat.

I didn't grow up watching or reading about the Old West, and so when I started reading Territory, I didn't recognize many named characters. This book is best enjoyed with some knowledge about the Earps and Doc Holliday -- although whether you do that prior to starting the book or midway through is up to you. (One video I found and liked was History Buff's video reviewing the 90's movie Tombstone for historical accuracy -- it has a nice overview of many events.)

The fantasy elements don't change the essential relationships or events in Tombstone, but Emma Bull's retelling does change everyone's motivations. The fantasy element is mostly introduced through the story of (original to this book) Jesse Fox, a horse trainer who comes to Tombstone and is forced to reckon with his growing magical powers ... and other magic swirling 'round Tombstone. He has the help of his friend and mentor Chow Lun, and the passages depicting their familiar quarreling were among my favorites. There's also some wisdom sprinkled in about learning something new, and moving on from past experiences.

Mildred Benjamin is a widow type-setter who provides the narrative structure of the book, and her romance with Jesse was really sweet. I enjoyed her voice, but the most compelling or original parts of the book were not from her perspective, making the story seem rather shaggy.

Of course, everyone's favorite Doc Holliday is the third point-of-view character, and his perspective is one that really makes the ending of the book work. It's not a traditional ending -- as an alternate history, coming up with a satisfying ending can be difficult. Tthis book's solution sees the fantasy element climax and then recede, something that will satisfy lovers of the West but might frustrate readers who want a fuller exploration of the fantasy elements. ( )
  Kanarthi | Dec 8, 2018 |
Have been trying to read this for years... something keeps usurping!

Hmmm - liked it. It was not a tidy package in the end, but I've decided that's ok. ( )
  kmajort | Feb 9, 2018 |
I loved this book! It would have 5 stars IF it didn’t end as it did with no sequel in sight 8 years later. Very disappointing as I would gladly spend more time with the wonderful characters! Excellent narration as well, particularly Michael Kramer. ( )
  blueraven57 | Jan 3, 2018 |
When you pick up a book knowing that it's going to be about the practice of magic in the historical context of Tombstone, AZ, Wyatt Earp, and Doc Holladay, it's really unnecessary for an author to post a disclaimer at the beginning of novel (as Emma Bull does) about any liberties she might have taken with "objective" facts. But I was pleasantly surprised to discover how little violence she did to the history of the characters and the times. Many of the events that occur in Territory did actually happen. And since Wyatt Earp is such a sketchy character (both in his ethics and from what historians really know about him), who's to say that he didn't also possess the "gifts" Ms. Bull describes?

I found the denouement particularly satisfying because, though not flashy, it allowed the story to fit into history-as-we-know it without many seams showing.

(I would have given 3.5 stars if GoodReads allowed. I'd look forward to reading more by Emma Bull.) ( )
  kvrfan | Aug 19, 2016 |
Viser 1-5 af 39 (næste | vis alle)
...All this is for the most part historical record. What makes this story a story is the personal experience of the main characters. ...The book is quite a delightful read. Mildred and Jesse are engaging protagonists, if, as I mentioned, Doc Holliday is a bit thinner. The fantastical element is modest but well-integrated and well portrayed.
tilføjet af juniperSun | RedigerFantasy Magazine, Rich Horton (Oct 25, 2012)
 
...attempts to recast the events leading up to the gunfight at the O.K. Corral as a psychic battle between good and evil sorcerers....Talky, often impenetrable, and so what? An indigestible concoction that’ll stick in most folks’ craws.

tilføjet af juniperSun | RedigerKirkus Review (Jun 1, 2007)
 
...this solid if anticlimactic fantasy-western crossbreed may enchant and frustrate fans in both genre camps about equally.
 
Territory is, at its heart, a character, rather than action, driven novel, told from Jesse, Mildred and Doc's points of view, in alternating chapters. ... The bond that develops between them [Jesse & Mildred] is equal parts humorous and sweet, and never once falls flat....Readers coming in expecting a straight-forward telling of the O. K. Corral story with a helping of magic on the side will likely be disappointed. Territory is more subtle than that.
 

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If you ever read this tale, you will likely ask yourself more questions than I should care to answer. . . . I might go on for long to justify one point and own another indefensible; it is more honest to confess at once how little I am touched by the desire of accuracy. This is no furniture for the scholar's library, but a book for the winter evening schoolroom when the tasks are over. . . .

--Robert Louis Stevenson, from the dedication to Kidnapped
Nothing changes more constantly than the past; for the past that influences our lives does not consist of what actually happened, but of what [we] believe happened.

--Gerald W. Johnson
A society in crisis teaches itself to congeal into one story only, and sees reality through very narrow glasses. But there is never only one story.

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Wyatt Earp. Doc Holliday. Ike Clanton.   You think you know the story. You don't.   Tombstone, Arizona in 1881 is the site of one of the richest mineral strikes in American history, where veins of silver run like ley lines under the earth, a network of power that belongs to anyone who knows how to claim and defend it. Above the ground, power is also about allegiances. A magician can drain his friends' strength to strengthen himself, and can place them between him and danger. The one with the most friends stands to win the territory. Jesse Fox left his Eastern college education to travel West, where he's made some decidedly odd friends, like the physician Chow Lung, who insists that Jesse has a talent for magic. In Tombstone, Jesse meets the tubercular Doc Holliday, whose inner magic is as suppressed as his own, but whose power is enough to attract the sorcerous attention of Wyatt Earp.   Mildred Benjamin is a young widow making her living as a newspaper typesetter, and--unbeknownst 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 stage holdup results in two dead, Tombstone explodes with speculation about who attempted the robbery. The truth could destroy Earp's plans for wealth and glory, and he'll do anything to bury it. Meanwhile, outlaw leader John Ringo wants the same turf as Earp. Each courts Jesse as an ally, and tries to isolate him by endangering his friends, as they struggle for magical dominance of the territory. Events are building toward the shootout of which you may have heard. But you haven't heard the whole, secret story until you've read Emma Bull's unique take on an American legend, in which absolutely nothing is as it seems...

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