John Spencer is a new author. Round Prairie Inferno is his first book. He labels it a Western that takes place in Illinois, just prior to the Civil War. It is rich in details about locale, divergent characters that express the opposing forces headed toward that major conflict, and a main character who would rather be tending to his farm than enmeshed in the traffic and activities of the Underground Railroad. Yet, that’s exactly where he finds himself to be, when he responds to the request of a beloved sister who is an active abolitionist. Surge, short for Lycurgus, encounters many levels of the coming conflagration as he rides his horse toward a place of new awareness, and the reality that some issues force us to take a side and eventually to make a commitment.
I enjoyed reading the book for several reasons. My first Major in college was History and I have repeatedly told John that his work is an historical fiction, a good one. The details are well researched and the language is both rich and diverse. His own delight in History comes across well and lends credence to his story. And the fact that it is one of my digital paintings which John chose to grace the cover of his book was frosting on the cake.
If you are interested in taking a further look at John’s book, you can find details here, just click on the image: