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ARC Review: The Divorce Colony

The Divorce Colony: How Women Revolutionized Marriage and Found Freedom on the American Frontier by April White April White’s The Divorce Colony is set during the Gilded Age, in the America of the late 1800s. It revolves around the lax divorce rules then to be found in South Dakota.  Today, getting divorced is almost easier than getting married. But in the Gilded Age, divorces were not so easy to obtain. Divorce was viewed as a moral concern for the state, and was denounced from the pulpit for threatening the sanctity of marriage. Even President Theodore Roosevelt spoke out against it.  Laws around divorce tended to be most lax on the frontiers of the United States. By the 1880s the territory of Dakota gained the dubious honor of posting the largest rise in divorces in the country. At the turn of the century one city - Sioux Falls, South Dakota - gained a reputation for having the laxest divorce laws of all, and required only a three month residency in order to take advantage of them

ARC Review: Dogma of the Five Kingdoms (Book 2 of A Five Kingdoms of Cordizal Series)





Dogma of the Five Kingdoms by Charles K. Jordan

In Dogma of the Five Kingdoms, Book 2 of his Five Kingdoms of Cordizal series, Charles K. Jordan again plunges us straightaway into the events unfolding on the continent of Cordizal. Though the war between the Five Kingdoms and the undead Scourge continues, the focus in Book 2 is on the unfolding scheme of the mysterious figure Ta'Lin and his followers. As the book unfolds we see Ta'Lin working to resurrect powerful magik from the past. His scheme threatens to bring an end to the Five Kingdoms themselves, and may lead to a fate worse than death for their citizens.

Book 2 picks up right where Book 1 left off. (My review of the first book is here.) While there is the occasional bit of backstory provided, most of the action proceeds apace. The Kingdoms of the Grang, the Nawahl, the Ramons, Arzans and Xandrans, and the ongoing war, are taken as a given. Some of the happenings in Book 1 are alluded to, but not delved into or repeated. This gives us a book that's full of intrigue and action from the start. It also means that to get a full understanding of what's going on you'll want to have read Book 1.

Each of the major storylines continues here. In addition, we get deeper into the story of the clashing religious sects. 


===SPOILERS AHEAD===

The Daughter of Amate, the voice of the Goddess of the Xandran Monogoth faith, whose coming had been foretold, has appeared. Ta'Lin's scheme involves finding her and using her for his own purposes. But she is protected by the Chelkata Lothar, later joined by Prince Fortexxt of the Nawahl.

With the Daughter not available to them, Ta’Lin and his followers must find another way to try to realize their scheme, but they face a looming deadline with the coming alignment of the five moons. Only when the moons align will the veil be weak enough to allow Ta’Lin’s master to cross over to the plane of the living.

To prepare the way for his master, Ta’Lin realizes that the Warlord of Warlords Ang’Lor is the biggest threat to his scheme. So he forces an alliance between the peoples of the Wildlands and the Scourge of the undead, and sets them loose on the Five Kingdoms army in an attempt to kill Ang’Lor on the field of battle.

===SPOILERS OVER===


Just as with Book 1 of this series, I found Dogma of the Five Kingdoms to be a well crafted and engaging book. The world building has been excellent and the story lines continue to evolve in interesting and unexpected ways. 

And also like the first book, I was frustrated by the number of loose ends left dangling at the end of the book. My preference would be for each book in a series to be mostly self-contained, but that is not Jordan’s approach. If I can use a TV analogy, it’s like the difference between an episodic TV series like the original Star Trek (what I prefer), and the serialized approach of the newer Star Trek: Discovery (Jordan’s approach). 

But my frustration with loose ends is small in comparison to my enjoyment of the good story Jordan has put together.  And after all, those loose ends are what keep us around to find out what is going to happen next.

RATING: Four Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐


I am excited to have been invited by Charles K. Jordan to team up on a promotion for his Five Kingdoms of Cordizal series. Charles is giving away ten free copies of his first book Scourge of the Five Kingdoms. The promotion runs for a limited time and is open to anyone with an Amazon.com US account, and a Kindle device (or the Kindle app). Take advantage of the promotion here.




Charles K. Jordan book links:

Charles is self-published, and both of his books are available now on Amazon. 

📘 Buy Scourge of the Five KingdomsAmazon

📗 Buy Dogma of the Five KingdomsAmazon