The story takes place over a thirty year span and centers on the life of Karel Skala, his father, the mother who died bearing him and his band of brothers set in the beauty and harshness of rural Texas. Bruce Machart’s character development is the best I’ve read in a long time. There is no escape from the torment of emotional, spiritual and physicality of this well-conceived world. And oh man, is this world physical. In one of the best fight scenes I think I have ever read, the author describes the fight as “flawless in its wickedness.” The language is so richly detailed and the dialogue so spare yet vivid, that you experience a sort of adrenaline rush that is set in a constant state of expectancy.
And he never disappoints. The book is sweeping in its broad strokes on the great themes – familial bonds, conflict, and revenge, the absence of maternal and paternal love and how that manifests itself in a character.This is a book that should be sent to guys and brothers you’ve fought with and drank with and a note that says, “read this.”