A home that once stood tall is set ablaze. A new journey begins in the chaotic Murrieta Territory.
** 2016-2017 BooksGoSocial Daily Book of the Year Award Finalist **
Jeannie Morrell is on the run. Chasing behind her is the expanding Keagan gang that just burned her home to the ground. Before her--through the forest of the Riverlands--is the mysterious, native V'ahani clan and the grizzlies they control.
With her family now murdered only months after her thirteenth birthday, young Jeannie will be thrust into an adventure of survival. Somehow she will now have to build a life all her own, in this newborn territory torn apart by greed.
The first book of the Civilands series, Crimson River is an adventurous fantasy western that weaves its characters together in a tale of mystery, violence, romance, and adventure.
From the editor (Katrina Diaz, Lead Editor/Owner of Refine Editing):
"Crimson River is a powerful, sweeping fantasy western that centers on the questions of survival, trust, family, betrayal, and power in a wild, untamed land that one gang thinks is theirs for the taking. Little do they know that the very people they seek to destroy and conquer--in fact, the very land itself--intends to fight back. Both its heroes' journeys and its villains' quest for power will surprise readers in unexpected ways. Introducing a rich cast of characters and vivid new world, Crimson River is for any reader that wants to embark on a wilder, richer adventure."
N.B. Austin is an American author and songwriter behind the Civilands fantasy western series and Stranger Than Fiction: Corruption and Crimes Against Humanity in the Covid Era.
Based in Austin, Texas, but hailing originally from Long Island, New York. University of Texas at Austin educated. His experience as writer and editor for several scholastic newsletter publications combined with a passion for song writing, soon inspired him to divert his attention to storytelling.
The complete, five-part Civilands series features a chaotic power struggle in a mysterious, new territory. With strong, young characters, mysterious fantasy elements, and complex antagonists, the series is for anyone who is seeking a rich adventure.
Stranger Than Fiction is a Covid era historical synthesis which documents in intricate detail the actions of public health departments and their collaborators during the time period.
In the Murrieta, trading is a way of life and very profitable for those who control the trade routes. Jeannie Morrell is only 13 years old when looses her entire family as the Keagan gang seeks to take over all the trading in the Murrieta Territory. The Keagan gang doesn't care who gets in their way or what they need to do to become the richest around even if it means killing others. The Morrells are not the only people that stand in the way of the Keagans. There are also the V'ahani, who are peaceful people. The V'ahani are able to speak to the Grizzly Bears and will use them to help defend their people if need be. The V'ahani people are unaware of the betrayal in their group as they put their trust in an outsider to help them against the Keagan gang.
The story takes you on a journey from the beginning of the Keagan takeover, through the travels of Jeannie, the V'ahani and others. Will anyone be able to stop the Keagan gang from overtaking the Murrieta Territory or will they all end up under a new leadership? Will Jeannie and the others be able to return home or will the have the same fate as so many before them who tried to stop the Keagan gang? I will say again, you will want to have the second book ready for when you finish this one.
Nick - what a wonderful pleasure to be one of the first to read the book! Masterfully weaving in and out of different characters and engaging the reader with anticipation, joy, disappointment and satisfaction during the entire length of the book, reading Crimson River was sincerely one of the most enjoyable hours I spent in the past few days. The story unfolds just at the right speed that at no point I felt distracted, and I only put down the book when I had to sleep or went out for breweries ;). The writing is straightforward yet descriptive that I felt as if I were watching a movie. Fantastic job and I look forward to the next book!
This is a book which, if you wish to know the rest of the story, requires the reading of a sequel. Normally these kinds of stories, which do not entirely stand alone, are not my cup of tea. However, in this case the characters were masterfully drawn, given realistic lives based on their part in the various parts of the story, and the tale itself was told well in a classic style of visits from one part of the various groups to another, to another, then back again to the starting point. This form of story telling gives the author carte blanche to leave one group involved in limbo while telling the events occurring with another group. It also enables the author to draw out the antagonists character and create monsters versus the other groups which in time, if one reads on, perhaps will be vanquished. But this book alone does not take the reader to that conclusion. Nonetheless I have given it five stars for excellent characters, a good story line, a good use of the book style and no major problems of production or editing detracting from the story. I recommend this book for all ages from the higher teens.
Following the plight of two native Riverland Clans and that of the surviving Morrell family member, concurrent with the doings of the not-so-nice Keegan Gang, Crimson River whisks you along by alternating through their harrowing adventures scene to scene. I enjoyed the switching between POV's - for me it allowed a greater connection with each group. The characters are all well drawn and I felt that, with Latera especially, there is great growth throughout. The tribal systems and abilities of both Riverland Clans are well designed - I especially enjoyed the preparatory hunt led by Elan's father. I wasn't sure what to expect of the story based on the cover and blurb, but this piece is a real treat. Looking forward to the next installment.
The book certainly starts off with a bang. There are quite a few characters that get introduced, so if you get distracted and don't read for a while, it might be confusing to pick it back up again. The world-building is interesting and original, while still being familiar enough to recognize. The book moves at a pretty good pace. Be forewarned, though, it ends as a cliffhanger. There's a lot of characters explaining themselves, and everyone seems talkative. It is action-packed though.