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The Six-Gun Tarot (Golgotha #1)

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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  1,168 ratings  ·  274 reviews
Buffy meets Deadwood in a dark, wildly imaginative historical fantasy

Nevada, 1869: Beyond the pitiless 40-Mile Desert lies Golgotha, a cattle town that hides more than its share of unnatural secrets. The sheriff bears the mark of the noose around his neck; some say he is a dead man whose time has not yet come. His half-human deputy is kin to coyotes. The mayor guards a hoa
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Hardcover, 364 pages
Published January 22nd 2013 by Tor Books
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Billy I don't think anyone in their right mind should care if this was a best seller according to a has-been news source. It's a fun read if you like the…moreI don't think anyone in their right mind should care if this was a best seller according to a has-been news source. It's a fun read if you like the idea of a magical western with a side of fantasy.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
One of the most enduring motifs of the Western genre is the town in the forsaken deserts of the West where people go to run from their past lives and to escape to a new one. In this novel, Golgotha is such a place, however the voice that leads travelers into its depths is a sinister, ageless one. A voice that also attracts all sort of supernatural phenomena.

Young Jim makes it to edge of this town, where the desert almost kills him and his beloved horse, Precious. His life is saved by a strange h
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Sanaa
[4.5 Stars] What a strange and interesting book! I haven't read anything this weird or dark in a while, and I really loved it. The characters and the world building are truly the most unique part about this book. I found myself wanting to know more and more abut every single character we encountered, and I felt really attached to many of them. They're real. They're not without their problems, baggage, or darkness, but they are complex and so intriguing to read about. This is the first weird west ...more
Ctgt
Faith gives a thing power. Belief is one of the most powerful assets mankind possesses. It's a damn shame so few folks take advantage of it. Of course the world is set up to make it hard to believe-that's part of the elegant trap of it.

A really good weird western set in Nevada just beyond the 40-Mile Desert in the town of Golgotha(great name). The book is a mashup of ideas and POVs, western, supernatural, horror, a bit of Lovecraft, fallen angels, the Chinese creation story of Pangu, shapeshifte
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Mogsy (MMOGC)
Golgotha, Nevada 1869. Fifteen-year-old Jim finds himself in town after surviving the 40-Mile Desert, running from his past with just his horse and his father's magical jade eye in his pocket.

Golgotha has always had a way of attracting and drawing in the supernatural. With its history of unexplained occurrences, the old town is also home to many strange denizens, including Jonathan Highfather, the town's sheriff whose extraordinary luck has always preserved him despite many close shaves with de
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Paul Nelson
This last 12 months I've concentrated mainly on the horror genre and as a result almost stumbled across an affinity for the western, initially starting with Tim Curran but there’s some fantastic stuff out there bred by some far from balanced imaginations.

Six Gun Tarot attempts an awful lot in this début novel, it’s an enjoyable read but the author may just have crammed too much into the story, there’s some fantastic characters, too many really and as he adds depth to them all, the pace of the st
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Katy
May 12, 2014 Katy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Lovecraft, Weird West, Urban Fantasy
Recommended to Katy by: R.S. Belcher
Shelves: ebook
Book Info: Genre: Weird Western
Reading Level: Adult (although one of the main characters, Jim, is 15 and his coming-of-age is part of the story, I still think it's more of an adult story)
Recommended for: Fans of Lovecraftian literature, Weird Westerns, urban Fantasy
Trigger Warnings: murder, domestic violence against wife and daughter, slavery (during the part set prior to the civil war)
Animals Injured: Horse injures leg badly, had to push on through desert with no water for days (she's okay); tw
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Mihir

Full review over at Fantasy Book Critic

ANALYSIS: Six Gun Tarot is a debut that almost flew under my radar; it was thanks to Cindy, my fellow blogger that I was able to read it. The blurb details give you a small inkling about the book’s story but truly nothing truly prepares for the actual story. There are many POV characters in this story and as each chapter begins we are introduced to each and every one of them along with their backstory, motivations and futures. Jim is the young kid who’s
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Beth
Forty miles in the middle of nowhere, there is a town called Golgotha. It sits in the middle of the desert. Silver mines once made this town thrive but now it is a collection of very unique residents. A boy with a magical eye, a man that can shift into a coyote, a mother and wife that is secretly a trained assassin, a shop keeper with a reanimated wife...Golgotha is quite distinctive.

Even in this unusual town even stranger things are happening. People are going missing, an ancient evil is coming
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Felicia
Ok I read this a while ago, and this isn't the kind of book that's easily summarized far away from reading, but I know that I enjoyed it, so that's good enough for a review. It's a fantastical mystery, if you've read Tim Powers then this is RIGHT up your alley. A strange town, lots of points of views, folklore and big bad evil people. A bit of George RR Martin with all the different characters and brutal death scenes, but really engrossing. Definitely one to read slowly, but if you love complex, ...more
Experiment BL626
I picked this book up thinking it was an urban fantasy in the Wild West, and what I read wasn’t far off from that impression. It’s a small town fantasy; not a big difference. Where I went wrong was thinking it would be exciting. It wasn’t — at all. The book was goddamn awful. It was so awful it took me 2-3 months to finish, speaking as a reader who in a motivated mood can finish 2-3 novels in a single day.

One chapter in and I already knew this book wasn’t going to be rated more than 2 stars. Two
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⊱ Irena ⊰
The story has a few things that I am not really a fan of, such as third person retrospective narrative to tell us what happened to a character. Not all of them tell their story using that device though. The sheriff is still a mystery to me, even if he revealed part of his life to another. Still, as much as I didn't like that particular way of telling a story, it worked well here, but I had to read the whole book to see it. While I was reading, it was occasionally annoying to have the main story ...more
Shanshad Whelan
So sometimes you just happen to spot a title and a cover and say "hey--that looks interesting." I hadn't heard a thing about this particular fantasy western. I was a tad skeptical that I'd actually like the darn thing--westerns are not my favorite genre by any means. But I decided to give it a try.

Folks, it is hands down the best adult SF/Fantasy work I've read this year. Now, given that it is only January, that's not saying much--but I've read about ten or twelve other novels so far, (and stopp
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Kathy (Kindle-aholic)
3.5-3.75

Another book where I sit here trying to categorize it, think who would be most interested in reading it, and how to describe it without veering off into spoiler land. It is a Western with fantasy elements. I really like the blend of Western and Fantasy, so I've been looking forward to this one for awhile.

Very interesting mix of mythologies and apocalyptic prophecies. We have angels, Lucifer (in a minor role), Coyote's son, a man who cannot die, a boy with a magical artifact, a priestess
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Sophia
I just finished reading The Six-Gun Tarot, and found the climax enjoyable enough that I considered giving it three stars. However, a dramatic sequence in the end can't erase how frustrating it was reaching that point in the first place, especially considering that I would have stopped reading much earlier in the book if I hadn't been determined to forge my way to the end despite all discomfort.

There are plenty of great concepts and characters in this story, but they don't come together to form a
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colleen the fabulous fabulaphile
Jun 17, 2015 colleen the fabulous fabulaphile rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to colleen the fabulous fabulaphile by: Shanshad Whelan
2.5

This is an interesting Weird West story that sort of reminded me of Supernatural - specifically in the way that it uses Christian mythology as a sort of baseline, but also weaves in aspects of other mythologies, specifically, in this case, Native American and Chinese (which skirts, but mostly manages to avoid, the Ethnic Magician trope, but only by dint of that fact that it seems like most of characters are or have magic to some extent.)

The other similarity with SUpernatural, to me, is in spe
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Elizabeth Bear
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ornella (Nyx)
4.5 Stars

This book was...I don't even know how to describe it. Twisted, dark, but very entertaining. I'm gonna be using a few quotes in this review, cause it's the only way to really describe things in this book.

I'll be honest, the first half of the book, I was totally lost. I was just nodding my head thinking 'Yeah, ok..' and just kept reading. After that halfway mark things started to get realllly interesting. Each chapter had the title of a tarot card, and it would be in pov of the person who
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Nathan
Fantasy Review Barn

“It’s been proven by all the sciences, m’boy-biolgoy, alienism, phrenology.”

Westerns and fantasy work surprising well together I am finding. ‘Territory’ by Emma Bull, ‘Half-Made World’ by Felix Gilman, even ‘Red Country’ by Abercrombie are all solid tales with a western vibe. Add ‘The Six-Gun Tarot’ to that list.

Golgotha, Nevada is a strange little cattle town whose inhabitants do their best to live normal lives. Sure they have a sheriff who may be immortal or already dead. Th
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Sarah
The Six-Gun Tarot is one hell of a debut novel. It’s not quite fantasy, not quite horror, and has a whole lot of fascinating mythology that plays on deeper themes. Though the plot does take a while to take off, and the numerous points of view that are almost constantly introduced can feel rather distracting, Belcher really has something promising on his hands. This is a book that’s a lot of fun with enough depth to keep you thinking. Tight writing and a unique setting keep everything fresh and n ...more
aPriL does feral sometimes


I have not read such absurd senseless demented twaddle in some time.

'Six Gun Tarot' by R. S. Belcher has a literary tone and a veneer of scholarly metaphysical research, but don't be fooled - (view spoiler) a simplified politically-correct unification of all world beliefs into one face of god and one face of evil becomes a ridiculous and contrived irrational novel which fits together as chaotically as if one tried
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Carlos Emilio
I cannot use words to describe how cautious I was to approach this novel as it was one of those books I pick up out of mere curiosity without knowing squat about the book or author, I also cannot say how much I conflicted with giving it a three stars review.
The book is not bad if you are looking for a light read, if you are looking for a masterpiece that will be cliche-free and have the most mind bending story, you will be horribly dissapointed in picking this book up.
The characters are all hero
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Viridian5
In Nevada, 1869, there's a former mining town called Golgotha that seems to be a magnet for odd powers and eldritch monsters. Its sheriff seems to be unkillable, its deputy is half-Indian and kin to coyotes, the mayor is hiding religious treasures in caves near his home, and a banker's wife was initiated in a secret order of female killers and pirates. Golgotha has seen a lot of trouble, but the ancient evil stirring in its played-out silver mine may lead to the end of the entire world.

R.S. Belc
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MB Taylor
I finished reading The Six-Gun Tarot (2013) yesterday. Not what I expected, but a fun read none the less; maybe not quite a 4 star read, but definitely better than 3.

I haven’t read too many westerns (half of Don Coldsmith’s Spanish Bit series, may have been it) but the set up seems pretty traditional based on the movies and TV shows I’ve seen. The novel open with Jim, a young man on the run, about to die in the desert. He’s found by Mutt, an Indian, and Clay, a stable owner and taxidermist, bot
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Fangs for the Fantasy
Summarising this book is a difficult task because there’s so much going on.

At the dawn of creation, god built the world on the bones of the defeated darkness. Step by step his angels drove it back, but there was one, the leader, the first, the source of the darkness that could not be stopped, could not be killed and instead had to be chained and buried in the Earth itself.

And now, those chains are loosening. The town of Golgotha in Nevada, a town that already attracts all things weird and bizarr
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M—
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kat
First published on Radiant Attack and read as an ARC

3.5 Stars

They say there are only two stories ever written: a man walks into town and a man walks out of town. Welcome to the town of Golgotha, where you’re likely to walk into town but never walk out again. Where the residents have so many secrets, even their secrets have secrets.

Set in the Wild West, Jim Negrey rides towards Golgotha on a dying horse with a glass eye in his pocket. The eye is the last memory of his father who died in mysteriou
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Lisa
Disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book by the publisher for reviewing purposes.

Warning: There are small spoilers in the following review.

I would summarize this novel in one word: ambitious. The setting of Six-Gun Tarot is a small town in the Weird West. The novel starts out with a scenario that clearly sets the scene, and the premise is engaging. As the first Act progresses, the author brings in a variety of mythologies and genres that could be reasonably found in a Weird West sett
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drey
Wow. The Six-Gun Tarot blew my socks away. I’d loved the cover, which set my expectations high, and boy did it deliver.

There’s so much between the covers. It starts at the beginning, with the very Creation itself, when God finds that something already inhabits this world, something so dark and contrary that it has to be contained so the plan for this world can go on as intended. God’s intention, of course.

But before you start thinking this is a Christian story, it’s not. It’s a story of an impro
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Theo Logos
Feb 13, 2013 Theo Logos marked it as to-read
I'm setting this one aside for now unfinished. It came highly recommended, and looked like it would be right in my sweet spot, but it completely failed to capture me. Perhaps if I would have managed a few more chapters I would have caught on to it, and perhaps I will give it another try later on, but I'm done for now.
My major problem with the book had to do with tone. The author introduced quite a few different characters and plot threads in the first several chapters, but most of them simply di
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R.S. (Rod) Belcher is an award-winning newspaper and magazine editor and reporter.
Rod has been a private investigator, a DJ, a comic book store owner and has degrees in criminal law, psychology and justice and risk administration, from Virginia Commonwealth University. He's done Masters work in Forensic Science at The George Washington University, and worked with the Occult Crime Taskforce for th
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More about R.S. Belcher...

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“However...," Satan said.
Bick sighed. "However, I didn't count on the growing interference of lawyers, regulators, bureaucrats and politicians into my business. I swear it seems that every year they stick their noses into more and more."
Lucifer chuckled. "Sorry about that-I outdid myself there.”
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“The kind of nonsense they put into a lass's head from day one! How is any woman expected to have a voice as strong as a man's, to have the will to overcome like a man, to conquer and triumph like a bloody soddin' pego-wielding Richard! They're not to! Oh no! That's the reason for the stories, lass! To lock you down good and tight, to wrap you up in guilt and shame just for being what you are. Bloody bastards!” 1 likes
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