Tanya Reimer's Legends on the Prairies was published by Elsewhen Press in August 2016 (digital edition) and November 2016 (paperback).
Information about Tanya Reimer:
Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Tanya enjoys using the tranquil prairies as a setting to her not-so-peaceful speculative fiction.
She is married with two children which means among her accomplishments are the necessary magical abilities to find a lost tooth in a park of sand and whisper away monsters from under the bed.
As director of a non-profit Francophone community center, Tanya offers programming and services in French for all ages to ensure the lasting imprint and growth of the Francophone community in which she was raised. What she enjoys the most about her job is teaching social media safety for teens and offering one-on-one technology classes for seniors.
Tanya was fifteen when she wrote her first column. She has a diploma in Journalism/Short Story Writing. Today, she actively submits to various newspapers, writes and publishes the local Francophone newsletter for her community, and maintains a blog at Life’s Like That.
Click here to visit her official website.
Information about Legends on the Prairies:
What if someone believed that you were a hero from a legend?
“Don’t you believe in legends?” Such a simple question, yet what Sacri really wants Alex to believe is that he is the hero from her legends. A hero meant to save land sacred to her tribe.
Alex is a lot of things. He’s a painter, a sculptor, and a dreamer. He was just fired from a good job, grieves for a woman he hoped to marry, and is known as the local drunk. He’s terrified of fire, of losing his friend, and of being alone. He is a lot of things, but hero isn’t one of them.
Travelling across the country in 1892 to settle land on an unexplored part of the prairies, he hopes to find himself, to find a reason for his pitiful existence, and to have one last adventure with his dying friend. What he actually finds in the heart of the lonesome prairies is Sacri, defending land with her very soul. She believes he is the Man of Legends sent to save Sacred Land. Her determination entrances him. Despite everything, Alex finds himself praying to a God that he thought had abandoned him, in the hope that just maybe there is some truth to Sacri’s stories.
To add to Alex’s unease is the certainty that Sacri’s brother, often merely seen as a silver shadow riding his horse across the horizon, will happily kill him if he turns out not to be the man that Sacri thinks he is.
Legends on the Prairies, is the second of Tanya’s Sacred Land Stories, and is the prequel to Ghosts on the Prairies. Alternate history with paranormal and romantic elements, it is a story about growth, friendship, love, and the importance of believing in ourselves.
A REVIEW OF TANYA REIMER'S LEGENDS ON THE PRAIRIES
Tanya Reimer's Legends on the Prairies is an excellent prequel to Ghosts on the Prairies, which was published by Elsewhen Press in 2014. It's a captivatingly written story that captures the reader's attention from the first page. It's something different and engaging for those who want to read entertaining yet thought-provoking novels that offer food for thoughts.
If there are readers out there who have not yet heard of Tanya Reimer, here are a few words about her. Tanya Reimer is a Canadian author who has written Ghosts on the Prairies, Can't Dream Without You and Petrified. She is also director of a non-profit Francophone community center.
I consider Tanya Reimer's novels to be hidden treasures awaiting to be found by readers, because they're wonderfully different from other speculative fiction novels due to their blend of literary fiction, speculative fiction, historical elements and paranormal elements. The author has her own original literary voice and she uses it well.
Because I enjoyed reading Ghosts on the Prairies and Can't Dream Without You, I was eager to read Legends on the Prairies. I'm glad I had an opportunity to read it, because it's something different and enjoyable. I was impressed by the story and its entertainment values, because I found it entertaining and thought-provoking. In my opinion, this novel is better and more rounded than its predecessor, Ghosts on the Prairies, because it has plenty of depth and the author writes more fluently about the happenings than before.
Legends on the Prairies is an interesting reading experience, because it is a successful combination of several elements ranging from historical fiction to speculative fiction. The story pulses with substance and has clearly been written out of passion for storytelling.
Here's a bit of information about the story:
- In the prologue, Sacri finds herself in trouble with Edgar and passes out. When she wakes up, she talks to two children, Clement and Mattie, who play with a cross that she needs for protection. She tells them about Sacred Land and her cross. She also tells them that she has seen the Man of Legends in her dream. Soon she sees how Clement stabs Edgar and blood is smeared on him and Mattie. Then Clement and Mattie stare down at Edgar calmly. Sacri feels that she has to save the children from evil.
- After the prologue, the story continues ten years later. Alex wants to show Wali a house where he inteds to live with Mattie. Clement who spends time around Mattie often stares at the cross that hangs around Alex's neck with strange interest. When they get to the house, it is in flames. The house is not the only thing that Alex loses, because he also loses Mattie. He decides to travel to Moose Jaw with his friend to settle land there.
- Sacri witnesses how prairie fires have destroyed much of the Cursed Lands. She seeks the Man of Legends and soon she meets Alex. She believes that he is the Man of Legends...
This is the beginning of a story that binds the fates and lives of Sacri and Alex together in an intriguing way.
Just like in Ghosts on the Prairies, the events take place on the US-Canadian border lands and prairies (and underneath them). The wide prairies provide a fascinating and a bit different kind of a setting for the happenings, because bad, harsh and cruel things happen there. Despite moments of joy life can be difficult and challenging, not to mention ruthless, for those who live and travel there, because happiness, pain, love and loss are mingled together.
The characterisation is satisfying and believable. The author fleshes out the characteristics and traits of the protagonists in an engaging way. She fluently conveys their inner turmoil and conflicted emotions to her readers by writing about how they feel about various things and how they react to different happenings in their lives.
Sacri is described as a determined woman who defends of the land. She seeks the Man of Legends, because she believes that he will appear one day. She wants to marry him. Alex is an interesting man, because he is many things, but he is not sure if he is the Man of Legends that Sacri believes him to be, because he is not a hero. He's a painter and an alcoholic who has stopped drinking, but desperately needs a drink.
The minor characters are also interesting. I enjoyed reading about what was revealed about Silver, Mattie, Clement, Wali and Lacey, because the author wrote well about them.
I think it's great that the author has created realistic protagonists who are not perfect and flawless cookie-cutter characters, because it would've been boring to read about that kind of one-dimensional characters. Reading about how Sacri and Alex felt about the happenings was genuinely interesting for me and I wanted to find out more about them, because the author wrote intensely about their feelings, lives and problems.
Tanya Reimer has developed a lot as an author since Ghosts on the Prairies, because her writing style feels more mature and refined. Her prose flows easily and she lets the story unfold in a strong way. Storytelling seems to come easy to her, because she combines speculative fiction elements, historical elements and insightful commentary in a splendid way.
Legends on the Prairies is a powerful exploration of friendship, hope, love and growth. The author writes fluently about believing in yourself and what you're capable of doing. I've read a few similar kind of stories over the years, but I've often been more or less disappointed with them due to their overall staleness and lack of vision. It's great that Tanya Reimer hasn't chosen the easy way out like many other authors, but has created a good story that has plenty of tensions and substance.
It's easy to see that the author has spent a lot of time researching things, because everything feels authentic and believable (it's great that there's nothing artificial about the details and various elements). She also refers to such difficult themes and issues as racism and slavery in an intriguingly gritty way. Each of the different elements and small pieces of information have their own place in the story and together they form an interesting whole.
The events leading to the meeting of Sacri and Alex are fascinating, because the author provides readers information about the characters' backgrounds and where they come from. What happens afterwards is also intriguing and is handled well, because the author avoids easy resolutions. I won't reveal what happens to the characters, but I can mention that readers will enjoy the unfolding story.
I like the author's insightful way of writing about change and growth. She lets her characters struggle with various feelings and allows them to grow as persons. She also allows them to make mistakes along the way. I also enjoy the way the author writes about legends. She infuses her story with them, but doesn't let them hinder her from concentrating on achingly realistic storytelling.
One might easily assume that a story that takes place on the prairies between the USA and Canada would be peaceful and easy, but that would be assuming wrong. This story is anything but peaceful and easy, because there's a lot going on under the surface. The author challenges the reader's perceptions of certain things and creates a story that is deep and thought-provoking. This is one of the reasons why I like this novel and find it fascinating.
I'm aware that this may sound strange and unexpected, but there's something in this novel that reminded me a bit of Patrick Gale's A Place Called Winter and Alexi Zentner's Touch. Although Tanya Reimer writes about different things than these authors, I noticed a few intriguing similarities, which fascinated me.
Just like Ghosts on the Prairies, this novel will appeal to both mainstream fiction readers and speculative fiction readers. Because it is filled with life and turmoil, and it has various elements, it will intrigue and please both readerships. It's an accessible novel that can be recommended to many readers.
Tanya Reimer's Legends on the Prairies invites readers into a world where myth and legend meet everyday life and the harsh and painful reality of existence in a powerful way. It will entertain and thrill readers who are tired of reading run-of-the-mill speculative fiction stories. It's a rewarding reading experience to those who are willing to let themselves be immersed in a bit different kind of a story.
Excellent, thought-provoking and well written entertainment for adults!