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The Queen of Swords

(Golgotha #3)

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4.09  ·  Rating details ·  399 ratings  ·  60 reviews
1720. Escaping the gallows, Anne Bonney, the infamous pirate queen, sets sail in search of a fabulous treasure said to be hiding in a lost city of bones somewhere in the heart of Africa. But what she finds is a destiny she never expected...

1870. Maude Stapleton is a respectable widow raising a daughter on her own. Few know, however, that Maude belongs to an anc
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Hardcover, 368 pages
Published June 27th 2017 by Tor Books
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  399 ratings  ·  60 reviews


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Cupcakes & Machetes
My reviews of the first two books in the series: The Six-Gun Tarot & The Shotgun Arcana.

“To our brave captain,” he said and tipped the bottle toward Anne, who took it and drank. “She who pisses on gods and kings with equal contempt. Bravo!”

Third helpings of a seven layer cake. I’m fat on amazing writing at this point. I have no intentions to stop eating.

This is a full dive into Maude Stapleton’s background and the origins of the Daughters of Lilith and I couldn’t have asked for a more/>“To
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Crini
Oct 05, 2016 marked it as get-on-my-shelf-already
lady assassin AND pirate? sign me the hell up!

So it just got better because LOOK AT THAT COVER.
Tammy
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The nitty-gritty: Belcher is in high form with this epic adventure tale that spans generations, a story that puts its female characters front and center. Stand back, men!

It’s always a pleasure to read a new R.S. Belcher story, and it’s even more exciting when that story is set in one of my favorite universes, Belcher’s weird western world of Golgotha. Technically, this is book three in the series, and you could start here if you wanted to, as Belcher does a great job of filling in some of
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Brandon St Mark
This book was so very good.

Maude is my favorite character in this series, so I guess this was bound to be a favorite of mine. Given the ending of this, there should at least be one more book, but the ending is open enough to allow for many more, and I will be reading them all as soon as they come out.

I can't recommend this series enough, but if you can't find it in yourself to read all of it's entires, you'll be fine to read just this book. Maude and Constance are great r
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Wing Kee
Nov 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Good but a diversion that made me miss the main series.

World: The world building is good, it’s a departure from the main series and gives a large world building chunk of lore and history to the readers of the magical powers both good and bad at work. I liked that it as a Maud story as I love her in the series and her powers and where it’s from is interesting. The world building is solid.

Story: The story is good. It starts of slow just like the first book and builds charac
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Tori
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My review will appear in the July issue of RT Book Reviews
Kellan
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: weird
The latest Golgotha book has a rocky start, but it quickly stabilizes and becomes an amazing adventure that delves into some fairly complex issues with, if not the most unique view, a still refreshing one for weird fiction. The he majority of this cast is female, and all (including the returning characters Maude and Constance) are portrayed with a depth and complexity of character that is all too rare in novels written by men, especially in genre fiction.
Purcell
This is a really good book and also a rather problematic book.

You've got two white saviors that travel into Africa to save the world and magically have the right skills, personality, and drive that is somehow missing from every other woman trained in the arts they learned all over the world.

The book does a decent job talking a bit about how brutal and disgusting the slave trade was and how Europe and America pillaged and abused people in all of Africa. It does a really go
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Robert Humphrey
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Best of the series yet! I just hope this isn't the last of them!
Lucy Kennedy
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I couldn’t find the earlier books in this series on my library shelves, so felt sometimes I was missing out on past history of the characters.
However, I really enjoyed this book. The creativeness , the fantasy and humor.
I will continue to look for this authors other novels
Bonnie McDaniel
I had a rough time rating this book. Parts of it I liked, and parts of it I didn't care for. That may be because it's the third book in the series and I haven't read the other two. Copious references are made to previous events, but the author does a nice job of summing them up, so I don't think that's the problem. This book has two main characters and two timelines, and it seems to me what I'm having trouble with is the fact that one character and timeline resonated for me, and the other simply ...more
JustSomeGuy
Aug 16, 2017 rated it liked it
My issues with this book are the same I have had with Belcher's other works - he jams in so much that it ends up being overload. While this book is formally the third book in the Golgotha series, this is almost a spin-off as it follows Maude Stapleton in her adventures as a Daughter of Lilith as well as the adventures of her grandmother, notorious pirate Anne Bonney. The adventures of the two are told in dual timelines that of course join at the book's finale in a sensible, albeit, drawn out way ...more
Melissa
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I haven't read the first two in the series and judging by the book I thought it was an offshoot series. It is not, but firmly a part of a series. I was not lost as I think Anne Bonney and her descendants take center stage in this one but not center in the other books. I enjoyed it as much as I thought I would but it made me crave more of Anne Bonney's story and I think I'll get some of it when I go back to read the other books in the series.

This story flits back and forth between tim
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Clay Kallam
Aug 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
I usually don't like to jump into a series in the middle, but "The Queen of Swords" (Tor, $25.99,364 pages) looked fun, and reasonably intriguing, and the roll of the reading dice turned out pretty well.

R.S. Belcher's series involves a battle between the Daughters of Lilith and the Sons of Typhon, with the latter out to destroy the world, and the former out to save it. (As usual, the motivation for wanting to destroy the world is a little shaky, but a writer's got to do what a writer
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Brian Palmer
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, fantasy, western
Maude, trying to recover her daughter from her well-meaning if overbearing rich merchant father, is forced to come from Golgotha, the town in the west where she has settled, to North Carolina. Although trained in the many secrets of the Daughter of Lilith, a secret society her umpteen-great grandmother belonged to, Maude is determined to fight this battle legally, with the aid of the suffragette movement that is beginning to swell in the US.

But the Sons of Typhon are also stirring; a
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Fraser Sherman
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
3.5 stars — this is good, but I definitely like Belcher's weirdness in Golgotha better than spread out across the world. The occasional problems I have with his language seem worse here — Maude's father at one point gives a speech about his inner torment that feels way too twentieth century (and I'm sorry "the Load" is just a lame name for the burden of the Daughters of Lilith). And Typhon is one of those villains who likes to make sinister observations about the meaningless and illusion of life ...more
Rebecca
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh, wow. Seriously, this series just keeps getting better.

This is a significant departure from the previous Golgotha books in some ways - it's not a Weird West story, there's a lot less body horror, and it's a lot more streamlined. Instead of throwing a non-stop parade of oddities at the reader, it focuses on one storyline.

This could have been a problem; I love weird west and I love overfull, complex worlds. But the prose and the storytelling and the character building ar
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Jaye
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book returns to the setting of the Golgotha books. Maude Stapleton (a supporting character in the earlier volumes) takes center stage here. Maude is a Daughter of Lilith, a member of an ancient order of female warriors, sworn to defend all life against antediluvian horrors. Maude's daughter Constance is thought to be key to some ancient prophecy, so other Daughters seek to kidnap her. Maude's actions from the last book have caused the ancient monster Typhon to stir from his slumber, and he ...more
Mary T
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Overall, this book kept my interest throughout. The author keeps the story going at a fast pace with both stories being told. I didn't know this was part of a series (I just picked it up from the new section at the library). As such, past events are summarized nicely with what the reader needs to know in the situation. One thing I didn't care for too much was the indestructible nature of the Daughters. I know this is part of the supernatural aspect of the story, but it seems a bit redundant when ...more
Chris Bauer
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've been a fan of this series since the first novel and the latest carries on the fast-paced, wild-action and pace to a whole new level.

The worldbuilding is smooth and contiguous with the lore set forth in the first two novels, but goes in many interesting directions.

While I was initially a bit skeptical of a "non Weird Western" story in the series, the author did a great job of keeping feet in both realms.

Characters are vivid and fun to read. The fight scene
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Danie
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It seems like I wait so long to hear about what is going on in and about Golgotha, and then everything is over before I know it. This is a place I miss as soon as I finish the last sentence.
It was truly enjoyable learning about Anne Bonny's history and I found her sassy, screw-you-and-the-horse-you-rode-in-on attitude something I looked forward to each time her name appeared on the page. The new characters are intriguing and likeable... except for the ones you love to hate. Those bastards! 😉 I
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Bonnie_blu
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
I loved "The Six-Gun Tarot," enjoyed "The Shotgun Arcana," and was looking forward to reading this latest installment in the Golgotha series. As usual, the story was filled with interesting characters and an intriguing plot. I liked it better than "Shotgun," but not as much at "Six-Gun" (but honestly, I think it would be hard to improve on "Six-Gun"). The story generally moved along at an fast pace, and I loved the surprise at the end. However, I found the Maude storyline not as interesting as t ...more
Robert Aldrich
So...I liked this book, but it was far from my favorite. I like that we got to explore more of the world, but the nearly singular focus on one character was a bit of a disappointment for me. Now, if this is a theme and we will see other Golgotha single-character focused stories, that would be cool. BUT the story does not take place in Golgotha. Not a serious issue, but, again, this was a massive change from the other two books - moving from a larger cast of characters in a Western frontier town, ...more
M
Jan 31, 2018 rated it liked it
All in all I liked this book, though of the trilogy I think it was the shakiest. Largely I think this is due to the way it tells two stories in parallel, which makes the narrative a little disjointed. There's a lot of world building shown in this one, which also was a little weird since we started off in that little western town of Golgotha, spent the second book in the same area, and now suddenly we're telling tales that span the globe. Which isn't to say that's bad, it just felt a little odd a ...more
Mike
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another fun Golgotha read. I enjoy the series generally. And what's not to love about pirates and mystical ninjas? On the whole, it looks like there's at least one more Daughters of Lilith book to come. I hope we get back to Golgotha though. I like the idea of an out of the way town where all sorts of bad stuff goes down more than I do the world spanning good v evil Daughters stuff. And I missed Mutt and Jim and the gang. Still this was a good time.
Scott
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyable book. I was glad to read a solo novel on Maude as she was one of my favourite characters in the first two books. I like Golgotha as a setting but was nice to see a globetrotting adventure kept things fresh and interesting. The involvement of the Daughters of Lilith and Gran's backstory was great to delve into and fleshed out the pseudo-magic that they utilize. Looking forward to my next sojourn in Belcher's magical macabre version of our world.
Jo
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Picked this up during a massive bookstore sale. I haven't read the other two but I quite enjoyed this. I was hoping for more pirate shenanigans but the connecting tale between the two timelines wasn't too bad. Admittedly, the 1870 timeline was a tad boring but the chapters bounced back and forth between timelines to keep the story moving forward. Perhaps a bit quick to wrap up but it has a closing. Romance in a novel comes second for me so I was happy to read a novel all about adventure.
Suzanne
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I picked this up off my library's New Book shelf, not realizing until I got home that it was part of a series. Even so, I found it to be a very enjoyable read. I have no doubt that I would have appreciated it more if I'd read the previous books, but I never felt like I *had* to have read the previous books to follow along. I had a little bit of difficulty with the two timelines at first, byt that's probably due more to my attention span than anything else.

(The Night Vale reference ne
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Seth J Bradley
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best weird westerns out there

Brings together so many mythic elements it is dazzling, and the character development is way beyond what you will find except in a tiny handful of books in the genre.
Highest recommendation, a real page turner that leaves you wanting for more.
Elana
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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 fo
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Other books in the series

Golgotha (3 books)
  • The Six-Gun Tarot (Golgotha, #1)
  • The Shotgun Arcana (Golgotha, #2)