THEN CAME THE THUNDER BY RACHAEL HUSZAR
Publication Date: July 2, 2021
eBook; 160 pages
Series: Three Willows, Book 1
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Jessalyn Joy loves her husband, but she can’t help the feelings that arose when he volunteered for the Union army. When he comes back to her in a box instead of on his feet, those feelings complicate even more.
Jessalyn’s mourning period is cut short when something begins to attack the livestock in their small town, and greater dangers begin to threaten their provincial life. Thrown together with the new reverend, one of her own students, and a strange man somehow related to her husband’s passing, Jessalyn must find a way to stop the evils that threaten her husband’s first and ultimately last home.
Set in the Southwestern home front, Huszar blends a taste of fantasy into a startling down-to-earth world, creating a high stakes adventure for this strong female protagonist and her band of amateur sleuths.
Sam Brooks has deserted the Union Army after seeing too much senseless bloodshed. He vows to make his way to the town that his regiment medic, Saint Joy, grew up in and talked about with reverence. Sam amazingly finds the well hidden oasis town of Three Willows among the deserts of the New Mexican Territory and is told he can board with the school teacher, Jessalyn Joy. Jessalyn is given this task by the Mayor, who feels that Jessalyn hasn't been fitting in especially since the death of her husband. As Sam spends time in Three Willows, he can see why Saint Joy spoke so highly of the town; however, he can't help but notice the strange storms centered above Three Willows and animal mauling that come with them.
Then Came the Thunder is a fast-paced historical fiction mixed with fantasy. From the very beginning, there is a strong sense that something is off with the town of Three Willows and its inhabitants. My interest was kept in the tensions built as the animal mauling increase and affect a child in the town as well as the well crafted secrets that Three Willows three founders seem to be keeping. Jack's presence in Three Willows seems strange, I understand his pilgrimage, but his character is not explored very deeply. I wanted to know more about his past, his time in the Army and his relationship with Sain Joy. The same goes for Jessalyn; I understand her motivation for staying in Three Willows; but I wanted to know more about her relationship with her husband, her life before Three Willows and her time in Three Willows with her husband. I liked the fantasy element that was brought in near the end, I hope it ties in with folklore of the area and is explored more in the next book. The ending wrapped up quickly and explosively, I am definitely interested in seeing where the story goes in the next book.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Rachael Huszar kept her life steeped in stories from a young age, and she began her own journey in story-making when she reached adulthood. In the time since, she has taken up swimming, roller skating, and consuming tabletop RPG streams. She spends the bulk of her time with her dog, Silo, and works full time as a designer in Dallas, Texas.
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