Official Review: Riding For The Brand by Dan Arnold

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.
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Shelle
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Official Review: Riding For The Brand by Dan Arnold

Post by Shelle » 29 Nov 2016, 14:35

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Riding For The Brand" by Dan Arnold.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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A good western story usually contains a horse-riding hero, a lovely and loyal lady, and a villain worth fighting. Riding for the Brand: Sage Country Book Three, contains all that and more. I rated this book 4 out of 4 stars.

Author Dan Arnold has created a compelling leading man in main character John Everett Sage. I hadn’t read the first two books in this series, but there was adequate background information given to keep me from feeling too lost. In this book, Sheriff Sage has just completed the bloody work of cleaning up his county and is taking a few weeks off to spend time with his new wife, let his bullet wounds heal, and get to know more about the little orphan children the couple had just taken in. When Sheriff Sage’s investigation into the children’s past turns complicated, he’s forced to rely on his quick thinking and sharp shooting to stay out of harm’s way and, in true cowboy style, make right what had been going wrong. The themes of faith, family, and redemption are prevalent throughout this story.

It’s evident a lot of research has gone into this book. The descriptions of the Colorado landscape with all its buttes and wide open spaces are spot on and easy for the reader to visualize. The chapters about a cattle round up were particularly interesting and I liked how the author included descriptions of the various jobs to be done. The characters in Riding for the Brand were multi-dimensional and nuanced. The hero wasn’t perfect all the time, and even the worst bad guy had some redeeming qualities.

While this book would be generally classified as western fiction or historical fiction, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the prevalent Christian themes. The main characters are Christian and pray openly and honestly believe God has a plan. A funeral scene quotes verses from the Bible and living a righteous life is important to many of the characters. Just as in real life, characters in this book aren’t perfect because they’re Christians, but their faith is the underlying foundation of all they do. While some Christian fiction turns sentimental and cheesy, Riding for the Brand is a quality story that keeps its grit.

I would recommend Riding for the Brand to anyone who likes western or historical fiction as well as those who like faith-filled stories. There’s plenty of action and the plot moves along quickly so readers won’t get bored easily. There is some violence, but it’s not described too graphically and I would have no problem recommending this book to teen readers.

******
Riding For The Brand
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Post by kimmyschemy06 » 01 Dec 2016, 08:02

I love western historical fiction. I read Lonesome Dove and Billy the Kid by Larry McMurtry and I think I'm going to enjoy this book especially with the Christian theme. Great job on the review. Congratulations to Dan Arnold on such an obviously well written book.

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Post by Shelle » 01 Dec 2016, 12:53

kimmyschemy06 wrote:I love western historical fiction. I read Lonesome Dove and Billy the Kid by Larry McMurtry and I think I'm going to enjoy this book especially with the Christian theme. Great job on the review. Congratulations to Dan Arnold on such an obviously well written book.
You'll really like it! I may just go ahead and read the first two books because I liked this one so much.
A book is a gift you can open again and again.
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Post by MarisaRose » 01 Dec 2016, 16:44

This sounds like a great book! Glad to hear the book is well researched - always helps make historical fiction more believable. Thanks for the review and for being honest about the prevalent themes in the book.
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Post by Kdonegan91 » 01 Dec 2016, 19:12

I do not think I have read a western historical book. However, I enjoy faith-filled books. Can't wait to read this one. I think I'll start with book one though. Great review!
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Post by hsimone » 12 Feb 2017, 04:32

Great review, Shelle! I love when characters are multi-dimensional in a read and when an author can provide information where you don't have to read the previous books in the series. Congratulations to the author for receiving such a positive review!
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Post by gali » 01 Mar 2017, 08:35

Sounds like a great western for fans of the genre. Faith-filled books aren't my cup of tea, but I am glad you enjoyed it. Great job on the review!
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by ashpop2110 » 01 Mar 2017, 09:22

It is a good book for historical fiction lovers;a dramatic story book but i like reading romantic books so i will give it 3 out of 4 stars for it.

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Post by greenstripedgiraffe » 01 Mar 2017, 09:44

Wow! this sounds like a book I would enjoy. It sounds like it isn't sappy-style faith, and I love the action-packed part of it. I'm not really into westerns, but this intrigues me. Thanks for the review!
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Post by bookowlie » 01 Mar 2017, 10:22

I enjoyed your insightful review! I usually like books where the characters are not all bad or all good. Unfortunately, westerns and religious-themed stories are not my genre preferences.
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Post by jamesabr » 01 Mar 2017, 10:38

A well-researched book is a must for many genres, but I expect this book to be a treat to read because of your input on its research. I understand the Christian themes having prevalence due to the era of the time, and I look forward to sampling it. Good review.
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Post by Anuradha karnam » 01 Mar 2017, 10:46

thank for your for such a good review, still now i did not read any western books from your review got impressed to read Riding For The Brand by Dan Arnold. And i believe in faith, the hero is lucky to get such a lovely wife in his life!!! :D In love with this book.

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Post by James Craft » 01 Mar 2017, 11:17

Sounds like a really interesting and unique book to check out! Can't wait to see more for this one!
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Post by bluegreenmarina » 01 Mar 2017, 11:22

Thank you for the honest review! As you mentioned, Christian fiction can sometimes be overly pedantic and cheesy so it's nice that this book didn't fall into that trap but instead had a nicely balanced story and solid characters.

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Post by Strangerthanfiction » 01 Mar 2017, 11:26

Great review. This sounds like the perfect read for fans of westerns, historical fiction and tales of faith, as well as action and drama. Thanks for sharing.
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