Having read, reviewed, and loved “The Edge of the World,” I immediately followed it with“Daniel’s Fork: A Mystery set in the Daniel’s Fork Universe.” The story, the characters, and the talent of author Zeecé Lugo ensured that I would continue to emerge myself in this fabulously inventive series as soon as the next book arrived.
That third book, “Strongheart’s Woman” supplements a set of stories that are all part and parcel of a fantasy tale set in a future past. The saga of Daniel’s Fork is described, at least partially, as a dystopian story. The saga is certainly set in a future following an apocalyptic event—in this case a pandemic—but it is far from ‘a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding.’ Instead, the future world has gone back to an American future where the great Choctaw and Creek Indian tribes have reestablished timeless traditions, and the ‘white’ man has reverted to a feudal system of government, reminiscent of the Middle Ages in Europe. This future world is anything but dystopian. The story combines fantasy, romance, and suspense genres with a sprinkling of alternative history to thoroughly delight all readers who enjoy any of these genres.
The story is epic in scope and, in the hands of its creator, could easily become the next ‘Game of Thrones ‘or ‘Outlander’ series in print and film. As much as I love the story, I must also add that to write a tale of this scope requires an accomplished and talented author. Ms. Lugo is with a doubt capable of accomplishing this feat and much more. She writes with confidence and skill, weaving a wonderful love story into a fantasy world that contains more verisimilitude than many novels set in the real world. Her characters literally leap from the pages through dialogue, thought and actions. Although the Daniel’s Fork saga is a series, each individual book stands on its own. As in real life, the times and places remain stable, while the characters come and go but are always connected to each other. The author has a firm grasp of historical societies that she blends into this new world with a deft hand. “Strongheart’s Woman” is a tale you’ll not want to miss. After your first glimpse of Daniel’s Fork, whether the prelude story or any of the three novels, I am confident you’ll want more. I do and “A Time For Love” is already on my Kindle.
Reviewed 14 September 2015 for Reader’s Favorite International Book Awards.