TOP PICK! The Last Great American Magic by L.C. Fiore

See full issue for 2016 12-12
by Brian Braden

The Rundown

The first few pages of a book are sacred real estate, it’s the place where a good author has only one chance to win the reader’s attention…or lose it forever. L.C Fiore obviously understands this, and that’s exactly why I kept reading THE LAST GREAT AMERICAN MAGIC. The story opens with a vivid, compelling scene of the legendary Shawnee warrior Tecumseh facing his own death. After only a few paragraphs I was hooked.

I began reading expecting a historical retelling of one of America’s greatest folk heroes. Yes, the novel tells a fictional account of Tecumseh’s boyhood and early life. We see the Shawnee warrior’s rise to prominence among his tribe and those of eastern North America between the American Revolution and the War of 1812. Fiore, however, delivers more than a just conventional historical fiction story. What makes this retelling different is that it presented through the lens of magical realism. Fiore presents Shawnee spiritualism, and how it shapes Tecumseh’s destiny, at face value and blends the historical, fictional and magical seamlessly and believably.

This is a story of destiny and struggle. From early childhood, Tecumseh sees himself as one chosen, and forged, by otherworldly powers to halt the American juggernaut’s conquest westward into the Ohio frontier. As the story progresses, the reader comes to understand that the greatest obstacles in his path are not Americans themselves, but his family, his people, and his own heart. Throughout his youth, Tecumseh wrestles with his obligations to care for his self-destructive younger brother, Rattle, and the guilt he feels over a tragic childhood accident that cripples Rattle for life. Tecumseh must also deal with mysterious spiritual allies and enemies, who flash in and out of existence without warning to influence mortal affairs. Tecumseh also must grapple with his own people, and the other Indian nations, who have begun to bend to the Americans’ yoke. Ultimately, in my opinion, it was love that sealed Tecumseh’s fate.

I did not expect such a powerful and compelling (or steamy) love story when I picked up this novel. Tecumseh’s deep feelings for Rebecca, the headstrong daughter of a powerful white frontiersman, both inspire and hobble him. Fiore infuses real chemistry into their romance and aching tragedy into their love affair. It’s fair to say that this book will strongly appeal to those who enjoy historical romance.

This story resonated with me on several levels. THE LAST GREAT AMERICAN MAGIC paints a vivid picture of the beginning of the end for the great eastern nations. While I enjoyed the history and action, it was Tecumseh’s troubled relationships and love affair that I think truly makes this an excellent read. THE LAST GREAT AMERICAN MAGIC treats the history fairly, too, and never gets preachy. The magical elements are presented every bit as seriously as the historical elements, and give the entire story an epic dimension worthy of any high fantasy novel.

The Recommendation

THE LAST GREAT AMERICAN MAGIC is a worthy read and holds broad appeal for any who enjoy historical or literary fiction, romance and even fantasy. It is a beautifully written, quality novel and worthy of the title TOP PICK.

The Rating Selected as a Top Pick!

Top Pick! 5 Stars (out of five): Freaking amazing. Any agent or publishing house that passed this one up made a big mistake. It was selected by our reviewer as a personal favorite. This is also a nomination for our Novel of the Year award.

The Pros & Cons

Pros: Believable, Characterization, Dialogue, Steamy Romance

The Links

More about The Last Great American Magic on UBR

The Reviewer

Brian L. Braden

Brian is a husband, dad and semi-retired pilot. He lives a quiet life in a place he calls The Redneck Shire, where nothing exciting ever happens and adventures are frowned upon. He spends his free time pecking at the keyboard, trying to finish an epic fantasy series.

Visit Brian L. Braden‘s website.

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