I see that Emma Bull’s first solo novel in years, Territory, is out. I read an ARC months ago, the kind gift of friends. However, for reasons that will become clear shortly, I wanted to re-read it before writing it up, and I don’t have time now. Normally I’d just wait, but there’s a very important thing people need to know about Territory before they read it. So, as a public service, here it is:
There will be a sequel.
I read the book without knowing that, and I assure you that it was a deeply peculiar experience. Don’t have that happen to you! It’s a very good book and it would be a bad distraction to get to the end and say, “What, is that it?” It’s not.
Territory is a secret history of Tombstone, Arizona, starting in 1881. There’s the Earps and Doc Holliday and John Ringo and Ike Clanton, but there’s also Mildred Benjamin, a widow who works for a newspaper, and Jesse Fox, who keeps being pushed to acknowledge his magic by his friend Chow Lung, a physician from China. Much happens (she says, in the airy manner of someone who read the book months ago), and an arc is concluded satisfactorily without cliffhangers. But, as I said, a sequel is forthcoming.
If you like Emma Bull’s prior books, I see no reason why you shouldn’t like this one. And if you’re interested in Tombstone and don’t object to secret histories, it’s certainly worth a look. I only wish I had time to re-read it now to give it the more thorough and detailed review it deserves.