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Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite
A Fire in the West by Harry James Fox and Lucia Midgway is the third book in the Stonegate series. I read the first two and they are great. They are both award winning novels. If you haven’t read them, I strongly advise that you do so. It is a great pleasure for me to catch up with familiar characters who now feel like old friends to me. It is just as pleasurable to discover new characters, some of whom are the sons and daughters of old favorites. If you are determined to read this third book in the series first, rest assured that it is a complete standalone work and can be enjoyed without reading the first two books. You just won’t have the advantage and pleasure of knowing the exciting history that precedes the events of this book.
I was impressed by how much the writing and storytelling style has improved in A Fire in the West. Not that it was ever bad. If it was, I wouldn’t have bothered reading the previous two books. But it has improved in ways that I like. There is more emphasis on the details of frontier life and the intricacies of military planning and strategy. The plot is a little tighter than in the first two books, and the characters just a bit more developed. Again, those first two books are awesome, but Harry James Fox and Lucia Midgway haven’t let success make them complacent. Instead, if anything, they have stepped up their already great game.