Rocks & Railways
by Maz Maddox
Volume 4 of Stallion Ridge
Tags: Western Fantasy Shifters
Posted in Book Reviews on March 1, 2021
Mack has always been very comfortable playing the solid backup to Sheriff Calhoun, but when Cal is wounded chasing after some bandits, it's time for Mack to step in and take responsibility while the centaur recuperates. Of course, that's when everything goes sideways in town. The main thing causing a stir is the discovery of a living statue buried in the plateau the new railroad is trying to cut a tunnel through. It really doesn't help that the stone god is all of Mack's wet dreams come true.
This fourth outing of the Stallion Ridge series manages to breath new life into the now-familiar stories about the lawmen of Stallion Ridge finding the love of their lives, in unusual circumstances. You can't get much more unusual than Tahlac, a sort of gargoyle that is used to being worshiped as a god. The introduction of another type of being that none (but one) of the existing cast of characters know about is a nice twist. Among other things, it provides an opportunity to finally give the readers some background on “the war” which has been mentioned many times as a key turning point for most characters' back stories, but never really explained.
Mack has been a fixture of all the books so far. He's always been a steady second-in-command to Sheriff Cal, providing a voice of reason and a strong arm to help keep things in check. His character doesn't really change much with this book focused on him, but we do get a more rounded picture of him as a ‘real’ person. What we do get is a better idea of what drives him, as we learn more about his background as he relates his experiences during the war.
Tahlac is an interesting addition to the assorted humans and shifters of the series. He's not a shifter, per se, but rather a creature of myth who initially inspires fear. The idea that he's effectively been asleep for several hundred years provides just the right opportunity for us the finally get the above-mentioned background on the war that has been woven through the lives of almost all our main characters.
“Rocks & Railways” is available from Amazon.