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A Rope of Thorns: Volume 2 of the Hexslinger Series Paperback – 14 Jun 2011

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Amazon.com: 6 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Highly Original 12 Nov. 2012
By B. Nommensen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When reading the first book in this series, I found it hard to get used to some of the qualities of the writing and story that I now greatly admire. Parts of this novel read like a bad opium-fueled dream, and I mean that as high praise. The heady prose can be confusing as well as intoxicating. It's almost at though Lovecraft wrote a Western.

This second novel continues in the same vein as the first, with more of a focus on Ed and Pargeter, along with the introduction of a new character. As the story continues, the tension builds, and I must say this author knows how to write one heck of a climax. Too often in many books the climactic sequence can be disjointed or brief, but is in this novel extended and highly involving without being overdone.

The violence, horror, and the character development, particularly with Pargeter, continue to build nicely from A Book of Tongues. I actually found myself missing the sex, which isn't as present or shocking in this second novel as it was in the first. It's almost as though the violence, horror and sex have become their own characters, with sex sitting out a bit in this one.

The motivations of the new character are a bit obtuse, but the new addition is not unwelcome, and I'm hoping she comes into more of her own in the third book, being more an accompaniment to help with the development of Ed and Pargeter in this one.

While this series is not for everyone, and was even difficult for me at first, it is still one I recommend. I didn't go into the second book directly from the first, but I'm glad I got around to it. I just couldn't get that first book out of my head. Those that made it through the first book should definitely pick this one up; it's actually an easier and quicker read. The writer is very talented and this series is highly original. I'm looking forward to diving right into the third and final novel immediately.
Delightfully messy, character-driven, and huge. Recommended 18 Mar. 2015
By Juushika - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As Rook builds Hex City, the first established gathering of magicians, newly-awakened Chess sets out for revenge--but he doesn't journey alone. A Rope of Thorns is a right mess, but that's not a bad thing. It (re)introduces character and settings, cluttering up the stage; it has numerous metamorphoses and developments; the end stacks on itself in layers of aborted climaxes, messy and labyrinthine. But while it could use some paring down (the ending, in particular), I would expect nothing less. I'm reminded of Monette's Doctrine of Labyrinths: the plot occasionally gets in its own way, but its chaos and scale fit the context; meanwhile, the story's core is its cast and their messy interpersonal dramas and character growth. It's writing that sits in the gut and heart more than the head. Chess's developments aren't subtle but they are compelling, and the new characters are great. The first volume was more successful, but I remain pleased with this series and look forward to seeing it through to the end.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great characters, interesting use of Meso American mythology 15 Dec. 2013
By K. Sozaeva - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Book Info: Genre: Weird Western/Supernatural Horror/Steampunk
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of Weird West, horror, those interested in Meso-American religious practices
Trigger Warnings for Book 2: killing, murder, discussion of mass suicides, human sacrifice , m/m sex, obscenity, profanity, blasphemy, self-injury, non PC language
Animal Injuries: several horses are killed during a melee

My Thoughts on Book 2: Chess Pargeter has quite a mouth on him. I would love to share some of the creative swearing, but alas, Amazon doesn't like us to use that sort of language. One of the things I like best about these books is the character development. The author creates characters that you love, or love to hate, with depth and quirks. A few of my favorites from this book include Three-Finger Hank and Yiska, as well as Yancey.

This book is set just after the Civil war, so in order to maintain realism, there is language used that many people might find offensive in a modern context. However, one needs to realize that this is how people spoke then, and it is not meant in a pejorative way.

I'm fascinated by the MesoAmerican mythology being brought to life here. The descriptions of things are so beautiful, but then the actual thing being described is horrible. It was not a kind, gentle society, that much is sure, and the gods are some of the most bloodthirsty the world around.

The author describes this as black magic gay pron horse opera. This is fairly accurate, although to be fair there is much less sex in this second book than was in the first. If you enjoy that sort of story, and/or are interested in MesoAmerican culture, be sure to check this series out.

Synopsis: You must let blood to get blood. Arizona, 1867. As consort to resurrected Mayan goddess Ixchel, hexslinger "Reverend" Asher Rook* has founded "Hex City"—the first place in all of human history where magicians can live and work together safely. But this tenuous peace is is threatened by the approach of Rook's former lover, Chess Pargeter, bent on revenge over Rook's betrayal, as he kills his way toward the very same spot, dragging Pinkerton agent-turned-outlaw Ed Morrow along with him. Because Chess, sacrificed in Ixchel's name, has become far more than just a hex: his very presence has torn a crack in the world, remaking everything around him. And as the cycle of Chess's power approaches its climax, Chess, Morrow, and a young spiritualist named Yancey Colder—caught up in Chess's vendetta—will all have to shed yet more blood as they face down his mysterious patron demon, known only as the Enemy... along with every other enemy Chess has already made along the way.
Original 26 July 2015
By Cepheus Paxton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good second book in the series. Original writing with an interesting storyline.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A very nice read. 17 April 2013
By aviv shener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
This book was much better than the first one. The characters were more interesting and the story felt more to the point.
The reason that i'm not giving this one 5 start is because some scenes were just too long. The last scene is actually around 20% of the book. Insane!

Moving on to the next book.
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