Title: Monarchs of the Northeast Kingdom
Published by: Torrey House Press
Release date: August 18, 2020
Though I thoroughly enjoyed every page of Chera Hammons’ first work of literary fiction, it’s hard for me to focus on what came before the final four chapters of Monarchs of the Northeast Kingdom.
Which is unfortunate for you, because spoilers prevent me from divulging the wonderful way Hammons leaves readers of her positively superb debut — which Kirkus rightly called “highly satisfying” and “delicately woven.”
But trust me, dear reader, you’ll love getting to the deftly executed climax and denouement. It perfectly matches the first chapter’s setup, as all great literature does. And though you can’t label Monarchs a suspense novel, it is nonetheless taut and exciting throughout.
And that’s just the plot.
Renowned poet Hammons — recipient of a PEN Southwest Book Award for her book of poetry, The Traveler’s Guide to Bomb City — shows that she is just as capable of writing beautiful prose while stitching together the action and memories of her protagonist, Anna.
What I enjoyed most about her writing style was that it wasn’t flashy for flashy’s sake. The words washed over me and, in the end, made me appreciate the gentle hand Hammons used to get me from the image of a riderless mule to … well, you’ll just have to read it.
Monarchs of the Northeast Kingdom is available in paperback and digital formats wherever you buy your books. Signed copies are available at Burrowing Owl Books (Canyon and Amarillo, Texas). Also available through Torrey House Press, Indiebound / Bookshop, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.