cover image The Rock Child

The Rock Child

Win Blevins / Author Forge $24.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-312-86400-

Three unlikely companions are thrown together on a harrowing journey in this unabashedly far-fetched picaresque yarn of the American West set in 1862. Kidnapped from her home in Tibet and brought as a prostitute to an Idaho mining town, Buddhist nun Sun Moon is on the run from a would-be-pimp--and an even more dangerous would-be client, Porter Rockwell, ""leader of the Danites, the Mormon secret police."" Then she meets Asie--a half-breed Indian in search of his roots after a near-death experience in a flash-flood--and British soldier, spy and explorer Sir Richard Burton, who's on a secret mission to meet Brigham Young. Together, these three visit Salt Lake City, silver-rich Virginia City (where local journalist Samuel Clemens befriends them) and Lake Tahoe, which holds special answers for Asie. Throughout, Blevins's unflagging imagination and historical tidbits help him round even the most fanciful turns in this unusual tale. (Jan.)