There I was, stuck in small town Texas without a book to read.
Thinking quickly, I shot my friend Old NFO an email and asked for a book recommendation. I had just figured out how to get Kindle on my new smartphone.
He suggested A Carpathian Campaign by Alma Boykin.
Alma Boykin is a fine writer. She seamlessly manages all the usual tasks with ease and balance. You know, character development, dialog, plot, pacing and so on.
What sets A Carpathian Campaign apart is that she explores the tensions and turbulence of a multicultural empire that is suddenly under stress and surrounded by opportunistic allies and outright enemies.
Readers might initially be thrown a bit by the "magic" that Boykin sprinkles into the story. But the magic is rarely employed AND you would easily accept the nature of the magic if she called it email or texting or Accuweather.
I just started the second book and the tensions are amping up as envy and socialists are chopping at society's Achilles Heal. That is when the clue-by-four hit me between the eyes. Boykin was writing a near perfect analog for the United States and current times.
Thanks Jim, great recommendation.