Messenger Twelve
James Lynn Bartz
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Messenger Twelve

James Lynn Bartz
The Westbound Stage
256 pages
April 2000
rated 3 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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Messenger Twelve tells the story of Reef Atherton and his long journey to find himself. Along the way, he encounters slave traders, a singsong girl and a single mother as well as rapists who inveigle him into committing the same heinous acts as they do. Reef winds up saving the little girl, giving his wife the brush off and marrying the single mother.

There are plenty of twists and turns along the way. The plot moves at a comfortable clip and progresses logically. The characters are touchingly written so that they move the reader. Bartz does a good job of using dialogue to indicate the characters position in society, i.e. “dogtype”.

Anita is a breathe of fresh air as a woman who starts out as a little wimpy but rises to the occasion and takes fate into her own hands by dealing out justice in a way that many men would not have the guts to do. It is so nice to see a woman portrayed as strong and capable.

Messenger Twelve is a very interesting read with tidbits of historical trivia thrown in to keep it authentic. It provides a dark glimpse into the world of those enslaved by circumstance and unethical people. Anyone who likes novels set in another time will enjoy this book.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Camden Alexander, 2004

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