The Maynwarings: A Game of Chance by Digger Cartwright

four stars

Carson City in the 1800s was a legendary place and the perfect backdrop for a story about the Wild West, as several westerns have established. Once again, thanks to Digger Cartwright, we find ourselves planted at a cattle ranch outside this city in the newly formed state of Nevada. Following the stories of the Maynwaring family and their power struggles in this western frontier town, Cartwright weaves an affective web of danger, politics, and intrigue. Barron Maynwaring is the patriarch of a prominent Carson City family. His cattle ranch is the largest one in the area, as he serves as U.S. Senator for the new state of Nevada, and his family members are all respected members of the community. The family is generally known to have wealth, power, and honor with a fantastic work ethic. Barron helped to build Carson City from its founding. Essentially, the Maynwarings are the perfect western frontier family. Until a mysterious, high powered business man rides into town, buying up real estate left and right, and threatening the power structure in Carson City. The Maynwarings are faced with the challenge to retain their good name and assets, and rid the town of this menacing stranger and his men.

The Maynwarings: A Game of Chance is filled with plenty of horse riding, cattle driving, gun fights, and saloon drinking for the quintessential Western lover, but it’s also extremely well written. While most of the time the characters and situations border on clichéd Western frontier scenarios, there is no denying the talent that Cartwright has for telling a story. He possesses the perfect balance between descriptive detail and historical accuracy. While the character profiles were a bit tired, the reader will find the interpersonal relationships very entertaining.

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