A couple of weeks ago, author Brody Weatherford asked if I would take a look at his new book, Front Range Rebellion, which is the first book in a new western series called The Guns of Legende. The series is centered on the Society of Buckhorn and Bison, a secret organization that takes on dangerous missions to preserve justice through the Wild West. Led by the suave Allister Legende, no job is too dangerous or too daunting. I was reminded of the Mission: Impossible TV series with Legende filling the role of Mr. Phelps. Legende is a character with a shadowed past and a considerable fortune who lives in a Denver Mansion filled with hidden rooms and secret passages.
Legende commands a team which includes his butler Kingston, the ironically named Mr. Small, and Augustus Crane, the Denver Postmaster. Like the best fictional butlers, Kingston reveals unexpected talents as the story progresses. Crane is ideally positioned to make sure messages are delivered to Legende and to members of the team.
In Front Range Rebellion, Legende recruits Frank Landy and his ex-wife Emily O’Connor. Landry is a southerner but not a southern patriot who works as a whiskey peddler. He can talk anyone into buying whatever it is he’s selling. O’Connor is of Irish descent from Boston. She has a quick temper but she’s a skilled gambler with a taste in the finer things in life.
As the novel begins, the Society of Buckhorn and Bison is tasked with defeating the power-mad Colonel Carlton Clark’s attempt to form his own country and thus prevent Colorado from achieving statehood. Landry and O’Connor prove just the people needed to thwart Colonel Clark’s political and military machinations. As a former married couple, it’s never quite certain how well they’ll cooperate. They have different ideas and different ways of swinging into action. Landry is just as interested in showing up his ex-wife as he is stopping Colonel Clark and his murderous army. Statehood and more is at stake. Thousands of lives hang in the balance as Frank and Emily battle both the would-be President of Auraria.
Although Front Range Rebellion reminds me of Mission: Impossible, it never really takes on the steampunk flavor of The Wild Wild West since it relies more on suspense and intrigue than on gadgets. Along the way, there’s plenty of western gunfight action. All of the characters are well drawn and I cared about them. Colonel Clark is the kind of bad guy who is nasty enough you want to see him fail, but Weatherford keeps him believable. If you’re a fan of good action-packed westerns, or a fan of spy thrillers, you’re sure to enjoy Front Range Rebellion. I look forward to moving on to the second book in the series, Death Waits at Yellowstone.
You can learn more about The Guns of Legende and order the books at the series website: https://gunsoflegende.com