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The Devil is in the Details - an Editorial Review of "In the Lair of Legends"

Updated: Aug 21, 2023

Book Blurb:

"The devil is in the details and David Buzan masterfully brings all of those details to bear in creating one hell of a novel." –Tom McCaffrey, bestselling author of The Claire Trilogy

The most highly decorated Native American in the history of the United States Cavalry, Jolon Winterhawk is a combat veteran of countless bloody skirmishes during the American Civil War. He's a man of honor, struggling with sworn allegiances to two different nations-the country he's sworn to protect, and the tribe he's promised to defend.

During a top-secret mission to escort a military gold train through Oregon's rugged Cascade Mountains, Winterhawk emerges as the sole survivor of a large-scale ambush. Duty-bound to complete the assignment and honor the sacrifices of his fallen comrades, Winterhawk makes the fateful decision to personally deliver the precious cargo of gold.

While Winterhawk embarks on a treacherous wagon trip across miles of dangerous wilderness, an aerial unit from the Army Balloon Corps has been dispatched to locate the missing train. Soon, the aeronauts seize upon a diabolical opportunity-stealing the gold for themselves.

Outnumbered and outgunned, Winterhawk soon finds himself in the fiercest battle of his life. But he quickly discovers that man is not his greatest enemy. Because there's something else lurking deep in those woods. A monster of myth, a horrifying creature of enormous size.

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Author Bio:

David Buzan is an award-winning novelist and optioned screenwriter. He's had work published in "American Cinematographer," "Film Score Monthly," "This Week Magazine," among several others. David is a graduate of the Vancouver Film School, and also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Liberty University. He and his wife currently reside in Keizer, Oregon.

"In the Lair of Legends" is his debut novel.

Editorial Review:

Thrilling and utterly engrossing, impossible to set aside.

In his incredibly immersive and action-packed novel Lair of Legends, David Buzan expertly tells a complex narrative of history, myth, and adventure against the backdrop of the untamed American frontier. Set against the rugged landscapes of Southern Oregon in the late 19th century, Buzan explores the complexities of human nature, the scars of war, and the profound connection between man and nature.

The story introduces a diverse cast of characters, each memorable and complex, with their own motivations. At the heart of the story is Lieutenant Jolon Winterhawk, a Nez Perce warrior who finds himself caught in a series of increasingly dangerous situations, culminating in a confrontation with an ancient legend. The story begins at the CloudTrail Railway Pass, as Winterhawk is assigned to protect the valuable payload of the Golden Goose train.

Throughout the narrative, glimpses of unfortunate characters meeting gruesome fates at the hands of the fearsome “creature” are strategically interspersed. This cultivates a constant feeling of dread and eager anticipation, effectively infusing the entire story with an impending sense of unease leading up to the ultimate confrontation with the Nu’numic.

Buzan's subtle but consistent attention to historical detail immerses readers in the era, as Lieutenant Winterhawk and his comrades navigate the imminent threat of General Ramón Cornadez. The high-stakes ambush and the explosive confrontations are action-packed and immensely engaging. Cornadez's vendetta is as palpable as the Ketchum grenades he wields, setting the stage for a showdown that reads like an action movie. Winterhauk proves himself to be a capable and resourceful warrior, making him a sheer delight to follow through these high-stakes battle scenarios.

Through a masterful interplay of past and present, Buzan explores Winterhawk's internal struggle—his allegiance to duty and family, his Nez Perce heritage, and the shadows of his past that continue to haunt him. Winterhawk's memories of war and survival paint a visceral portrait of his resilience.

Buzan's command over the atmosphere and mood of the story is particularly praiseworthy. From the heart-pounding pursuit atop the Grafton crane to the final confrontation with the Nu’numic, the mythical creature guarding the forest, readers are gripped by a sense of impending doom and inevitable fate. Winterhawk's evolution from a man bound by duty to one driven by a deeper understanding of his place in the world is both profound and moving.

Buzan seamlessly integrates together these varied perspectives, ratcheting up the tension and intensifying the unease both within the story's characters and within the readers themselves, as they confront the impending menace of this mysterious and deadly creature. As alliances shift and the specter of the Nu’numic looms ever closer, the tension builds to a crescendo, ultimately delivering a climax as explosive as the gold-filled train.

Lair of Legends transcends the conventions of historical fiction by veering into the supernatural. Buzan's portrayal of the Nu’numic, a mythical guardian of the forest, is both compelling and terrifying. The creature's presence is constant in the novel and adds a sense of primal fear, while Winterhawk's final battle with the Nu’numic culminates in a confrontation that is as epic as it is poignant.

Winterhawk's reflections on his identity and heritage provide a nuanced exploration of Native American culture, and a window into the complexities of his character and the themes of the story at large. Buzan's attention to detail in depicting the Malheur Indian Cemetery and Chief Winterhawk's legacy in the story's conclusion underscores the importance of ancestry, remembrance, and the profound intergenerational bond, particularly through the perspective of his daughter who served as his guiding light and motivation throughout most of the tale.

David Buzan's Lair of Legends is an astonishing achievement that melds historical fiction with action and supernatural intrigue. While it might seem unconventional, if you're a fan of the TV show Supernatural, you're likely to thoroughly enjoy this book as well, given its similar vibes and atmosphere.


“In the Lair of Legends” by David Buzan receives five stars and the “Highly Recommended” award of excellence from The Historical Fiction Company



To have your historical novel editorially reviewed and/or enter the HFC Book of the Year contest, GO HERE


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