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The Last Great American Magic

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Named NOVEL OF THE YEAR by Underground Book Reviews!

Some men are born heroes.

By the late eighteenth century, the lush river valley of the Ohio Country is the last stronghold of the Shawnee Indians, a deeply religious tribe whose medicine men practice the blackest and most potent magical arts. The Last Great American Magic reimagines the legend of Tecumseh, a physically gifted warrior, groomed from birth to one day lead, and his twin brother Rattle, a wickedly smart but lazy prophet with blossoming supernatural gifts. Growing up, the boys are rivals, but in adulthood they reconcile in hopes of assembling a confederacy of Native American tribes to drive back the ruthless advance of white settlers and reclaim the land they once called home.

Described as "Lev Grossman's The Magicians meets Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper," The Last Great American Magic animates a thrilling and mystical period of American history set against an enchanting and dangerously shifting landscape. This is a story of one man struggling to define himself against a rapidly changing new-world order. A story of brotherhood, of family duty--the way home always, in the end, calls us back.

"From the finest strands of magical realism," says Cristel M. Orrand, author of Khayal, "Fiore has woven a historical re-imagining where the reader is so perfectly caught, he forgets he already knows how Tecumseh's story ends."

History, after all, is written by the winners. So what most people know about Tecumseh is that he was a Shawnee war chief who served under the British during the War of 1812. If they know their political history, they also might connect Tecumseh with America's ninth president, William Henry Harrison, who defeated Tecumseh's confederacy of native tribes in the Battle of Tippecanoe.

The newest novel from award-winning author L.C. Fiore, The Last Great American Magic, re-casts the origin story of an American legend that has largely been overlooked: until now.

If you think you know the legend of Tecumseh, think again.

372 pages, Paperback

Published June 21, 2016

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About the author

L.C. Fiore

6 books26 followers
L.C. Fiore's new novel is Coyote Loop (Adelaide Books, 2021).

His novel, The Last Great American Magic, won Novel of the Year from Underground Book Reviews.

His debut novel, Green Gospel (Livingston Press), was named First Runner-Up in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards (General Fiction), short-listed for the Balcones Fiction Prize, and long-listed for the Crook's Corner Book Prize.

His short fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, Michigan Quarterly Review, New South, The Ottawa Object, and storySouth, among many others, and has been anthologized in Sudden Flash Youth: 65 Short Short Stories (Persea Books) and Tattoos (Main Street Rag).

An award-winning short-story writer and editor, his work has also appeared on NPR, TriQuarterly Review, and in various baseball publications, including The Love of the Game: Essays by Lifelong Fans (McFarland & Co.). He is the host of The A440 Podcast (www.a440pod.com).

He is the communications director for the North Carolina Writers’ Network and lives in Chapel Hill, NC, with his family

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5 stars
25 (45%)
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18 (32%)
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Displaying 1 - 18 of 18 reviews
Profile Image for Dee Arr.
734 reviews87 followers
November 24, 2017
Author L.C. Fiore has written a compelling fictionalized version of Tecumseh’s life. Loosely based on the Shawnee leader’s life, the story is imaginative and attempts to capture the mood of those living in America during its early years. Mr. Fiore paints a picture of the life of Native Americans in the late 18th/early 19th centuries, and I thought this aspect of the book was a five-star effort.

The author has injected a love interest into the story, star-crossed lovers that are separated by the boundaries of their individual civilizations. While the Romeo-Juliet angle has appeal, it doesn’t have much to do with the actual events in Tecumseh’s life.

If you are seeking a well-written story wrapped around a figure from American history, you will enjoy this book. If you were hoping for an accurate, true-to-life historical book offering up details on Tecumseh’s life, you will be happier if you search elsewhere. Four stars.
Profile Image for Randy Daugherty.
897 reviews39 followers
October 31, 2016
Tecumseh the last great war chief of the Shawnee,and the last great hope of the eastern tribes to hold back the flow of whites traveling west.
We know how he met his end but here we have a re-telling, a mixture of history and fiction to show another side of Tecumseh. We also learn of his love for a white woman that never lessened over time,and as the story says saved a fort from destruction because she was there.
The -Panther=Crossing the -Sky will always be a special person in history, and this story makes him even more remarkable and larger than life..
Profile Image for Steve Lindahl.
Author 9 books32 followers
December 4, 2017
The Last Great American Magic is a retelling of the story of Tecumseh, “a Native American Shawnee warrior and chief, who became the primary leader of a large, multi-tribal confederacy in the early years of the nineteenth century” (per Wikipedia). In L.C. Fiore's novel there are elements of mysticism interwoven with history in a way that captures the spiritual side to the Shawnee culture. Tecumseh's brother, Rattle, was renamed Prophet after he died and returned to life, which indicates how important mysticism is to the plot.

This novel won third place in the 2017 CIPA Evvy awards in historical fiction. (My book, Hopatcong Vision Quest won a merit award in the same competition, which is why I decided to read the other winners.) All have been excellent books. The Last Great American Magic captured my imagination and kept me turning the pages. It was filled with action and taught me a great deal about the Shawnee people at a time when the Europeans were pushing them off their land. There is violence and hatred, but this is also a story of love. Tecumseh falls hard for a young white woman captured by the Shawnee, even after she returns to her people, and even after she marries William Henry Harrison.

I highly recommend this novel for readers who enjoy stories of Native Americans in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Steve Lindahl – author of Hopatcong Vision Quest, White Horse Regressions, and Motherless Soul
Profile Image for Steve.
4 reviews2 followers
November 7, 2020
"The Last Great American Magic" quickly overcame my middling feelings toward mythology and magical realism. L. C. Fiore's seamless blend of history, romance, and Native American culture is rich in surprises and deeply pleasing. I especially enjoyed how, in telling Tecumseh's story, Fiore works in cameos by figures including John Chapman and historical tidbits such as the New Madrid quake. I even found myself looking forward to appearances by the magical figure Crazy Jack, who pops in exactly when he's needed and never overstays his welcome. This novel required a great deal of work and skill, but Fiore somehow makes it look easy.
Profile Image for Cal Nordt.
14 reviews4 followers
January 26, 2019
I read this a year or two ago and deleted it from my book list by mistake (still not up to speed on using Goodreads and I've read and am reading so many books it's hard to keep track of them all!).

I just want to say how much I enjoyed this book and that I strongly recommend it to anyone with an interest in Native American culture and history, or the history of the United States, for that matter, or anyone who just wants to read a very engaging and interesting, original, book to read.
Profile Image for Sarah.
225 reviews16 followers
January 1, 2018
Well written and overall enjoyable work of historical fiction told from the Shawnee point of view.
Profile Image for L.C. Fiore.
Author 6 books26 followers
August 4, 2016
From other reviewers:

"The Last Great American Magic by L.C. Fiore is an epic tale of war and magic, featuring very interesting characters, powerful themes,and a classic conflict, a story that paints an exotic landscape with a unique culture in the tradition of The Last of the Mohicans. L.C. Fiore is a master craftsman when it comes to characters and plot. The language has a spell of its own, beautiful and utterly descriptive with a sensuality that transports readers into untraveled terrains. The Last Great American Magic is a captivating story, a hard-to-put-down tale of courage, nerve, and love from a master storyteller."
--Divine Zape, Reader's Favorite

"I loved this story. Loved it. I couldn't close the Kindle app on my phone. I read it at work, in restaurants, while waiting at the mechanic... I simply couldn't put it down. I was captivated by this imaginative, colorful, and creative novel. This portrayal of Tecumseh is far from the bland descriptions that I have read in encyclopedias and textbooks.It illustrated the inner conflicts and sometimes wavering confidence of a legendary strong native man. His relationship with his triplet brother, Rattle, is particularly intriguing and, in the end, tragic. Fiore managed to portray a Shawnee world in such a way that it seemed as if he had lived among the people. His colorful references to very realistic sights and smells almost climb off the page and bring that lost world to life in the mind of the reader.

"True to its title and as expected, native magic and shamanism play a key role in the story line.The vibrancy of the various visions, spirit leaders, and wraiths brings a unique level of complexity to both the story and the dialog.

"This is a five-star effort, no doubt. I'll recommend it enthusiastically to my historical fiction friends."
--Geoff Baggett, author of Brothers and Warriors (Patriots of the American Revolution Series #1)

"The Last Great American Magic by L.C. Fiore is a compelling read with suspense, history, and action. The characters are strongly well portrayed and they leave lasting impressions in the minds of readers. The author's fluidity in expressing and narrating the scenes gives a good pace and movement to the plot, making the book engaging and entertaining. The story is colorful and vibrant and the historical angle makes it memorable. The story is profound and insightful and shows Tecumseh effectively, highlighting him as a warrior in the eyes of readers. The romantic angle gives the plot a new twist from the action. For all those who already know the story of Tecumseh, reading this book will make them relive the war and take them on an exciting journey into the past."
--Mamta Madhavan, author of Connecting the Dots

"L.C. Fiore has masterfully depicted the majesty and mystery of Native American life in Colonial America in this spellbinding novel, The Last Great American Magic. It is easy to feel the strength of the Spirit and its connection with nature as the characters follow their long-held beliefs, even as this way of life is slowly pushed to adapt to new forces outside of the people's control. This is truly historical fiction at its best. An excellent story told with great empathy and reverence."
--Melinda Hills, Reader's Favorite

"The Last Great American Magic is an ambitious novel bringing tolife a wilder period in American history. Good for any reader interested in Tecumseh and who doesn't mind a dash of magical realism mixed withhistorical fiction."
--Kayti Nika Raet, author of The Outsider Chronicles

Profile Image for Cristel Orrand.
Author 8 books28 followers
August 5, 2016
“The spider had strung its web between two tree limbs…” of the American Revolution and the War of 1812, where Shawnee warrior Tecumseh is caught in the web between the old ways and white man’s, and runs the gauntlet between love and honor. With the aid and subversion of his prankster spirit guide, Crazy Jack, and his shaman brother, Rattle, Tecumseh sets out to unite the tribes to reclaim their land from the white settlers. Could the tribes succeed, or would the movement be but a candle flame “come to the end of its thin, black wick, and finding no future there…”?

From the finest strands of magical realism and a deep respect for the subjects, Fiore has woven a historical re-imagining of Tecumseh’s War, where the reader is so perfectly caught, he forgets he already knows how Tecumseh’s story ends.

Cristel Orrand
Author of "Khayal" and "The Amalgamist"
Profile Image for Owen Duffy.
Author 6 books23 followers
July 30, 2016
This is a well researched and poetic story of Tecumseh and the Shawnee tribes, the captives they take, and the challenges that face them as a people. It is told in a cinematic style, piecing together threads of documented history to complete a story that is vibrant and magical. Essential reading for any interested in the lesser known aspects of this country as well as those interested in seeing Native American culture alive in ways that few books do. Entertaining and thought-provoking, an artful look at humanities' complex past.
47 reviews
September 1, 2016
I really loved this book! I'm a sucker for historical fiction (with added spin) and love Native American subjects, so this was right up my alley. Add elements of magic, spiritualism & heartbreaking love to get a story that moves along quickly, full of beautiful images. I loved the clear, well written characters (Magic Jack, Rattle) and how they evolved through the course of the book. The author weaves both realism and magic together perfectly throughout. It's an entertaining read that hits every note a good book should.
21 reviews
October 19, 2016
The Last Great American Magic is truly a well crafted novel that has a bit of something for everyone - historical fiction, adventure, magical realism, and romance. But the true stand out is the author's prose. Full of beautiful sentences and paragraphs that you find yourself re-reading for the pleasure of it, Mr. Fiore has exceptional talent. It's not often that you run across a page turner that's also exceptionally well written. You will not be disappointed.
Profile Image for Underground Book Reviews.
266 reviews41 followers
April 11, 2017
THE LAST GREAT AMERICAN MAGIC is a worthy read and holds broad appeal for any who enjoy historical or literary fiction, romance and even fantasy. It is a beautifully written, quality novel and worthy of the title TOP PICK.

Read the rest of this review at UndergroundBookReviews.org
October 10, 2016
Terrible formatting.

Whole pages of were lost and some repeated. The ending is abrupt, and, seemingly missing parts. These shortcomings made the story terribly confusing.
21 reviews3 followers
August 28, 2016
Very good. Entertaining, but not at all a time-waster.
Profile Image for Amy Biddle.
Author 1 book21 followers
April 13, 2017
An exceptional book, engaging from the very beginning. The author does a fantastic job of getting into Techmseh’s head and portraying the Native American lifestyle through a straightforward and unapologetic lens. So often, this lifestyle is over-romanticized – but this book was an impeccable depiction of the times, which were violent and rapidly changing. It is a beautiful snapshot. Every character was believable (and with their flaws as well as their strengths) and the dialogue was spot-on. The book was riveting, I could not put it down, but was left slightly disappointed by the abruptness of ending. But that's OK because WOW!! Bringing old myths alive into a historical fantasy world is a challenge, and it was executed with skill. It is clear that a large amount of research went into this novel.
Displaying 1 - 18 of 18 reviews

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