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Eagle Talons (The Iron Horse Chronicles:…
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Eagle Talons (The Iron Horse Chronicles: Book One)

by Robert Lee Murphy

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Recently added bySudolTerri, alco261, JMHD1975

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Eagle Talons and its sequel Bear Claws, comprise the first two books of a trilogy (the third book is Golden Spike) detailing the life and adventures of William Braddock. Eagle Talons opens in 1867 with the newly orphaned William deciding to run away to try to connect up with his uncle, Sean Corcoran, a surveyor working for the Union Pacific on the transcontinental railroad. What follows is a blizzard of adventures covering every conceivable western genre subplot and involving practically everyone of any historical importance in the construction of the first transcontinental railroad.

Bear Claws takes up William’s story in 1868. Its style is identical to the first volume: a series of hurried adventures populated by historical figures and minimally developed characters. Indeed, the numerous historical figure cameo appearances and William’s adventures-at-every-turn travels along the length of the eastern portion of the transcontinental railroad leaves the one with the sense that the book titles should have been “How William Braddock built the Transcontinental Railroad With a Little Help From His Friends Volume I, II, and III”.

As someone who is very interested in railroad history I had high hopes for these books. A novel using even a portion of the backdrop of the actual construction of the first transcontinental railroad as a setting with fewer adventures and better character development could be so much more. ( )
  alco261 | Dec 31, 2016 |
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Newly orphaned Will Braddock doesn't want some old judge dictating his future, so the fourteen-year-old embarks upon a quest to determine his own destiny. He heads west to find his uncle, a surveyor on the first transcontinental railroad, and persuade his only living relative not to sign the judge's papers sentencing him to a blacksmith apprenticeship. Will wants to be free to ride across the windswept prairies and through the forested mountains. He wants to be a part of the excitement of building the Union Pacific Railroad. But with such freedom come grave risks, and Will finds he must rely on his own wits and courage to make his way in the dangerous West.… (more)

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