cover image Purgatory’s Shore

Purgatory’s Shore

Taylor Anderson. Ace, $28 (496p) ISBN 978-0-593-20071-1

Returning to the world of the long-running Destroyermen saga (completed in 2020 with Winds of Wrath), this familiar prequel and Artillerymen series launch transports a group of displaced U.S. soldiers to an alternate Yucatan Peninsula. Capt. Lewis Cayce is shipping with an assorted troop of artillery and infantry soldiers to rejoin the 1847 U.S. invasion of Mexico when, once again, a mysterious storm transports the convoy to an entirely different version of Earth. Gathering the scattered survivors, including a troop of Mexican cavalry, Cayce learns that this “other” Yucatan is populated with giant, killer dragons and, worse, the Blood Priests of the Holy Dominion, who practice a twisted combination of Spanish Inquisition theology and Mayan blood sacrifice. Allying themselves with the few remaining free Mayans, Cayce and his forces must build up a base of technology and train an army to stop the Blood Priests on their unholy crusade. Anderson deftly switches his military and social focus to an earlier milieu of muskets and slavery, adding new layers to the history of this alternate Earth while providing longtime fans with plenty of recognizable touches. This is a promising series starter. Agent: Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary. (Sept.)