The Native Star
Emily Edwards, the town witch in a small Sierra Nevada settlement in 1876, accidentally makes a magical mistake and winds up with a strange glowing artifact embedded in her palm. Dreadnought Stanton, a warlock, comes to her aid and they soon find themselves on a quest to find Professor Mirabilis, who is the only hope for helping Emily. Their quest takes them across country as villainous warlocks chase Emily and Dreadnought. They are also faced with bizarre circumstances, magical elements and a dangerous adventure.
This story is a mix of both fantasy and romance, but it is a bit on the odd side. I wasn’t sure exactly what to make of it, but kept reading to find an interesting tale. Suspension of belief is definitely required to get through the story, which includes everything from zombie miners and huge rabid animals that have been changed by magic. Hobson’s characters are a bit too modern for 1876, and the language used is certainly not 19th century. Despite these slight flaws, the novel still reads smoothly and contains lots of lore, romance, and intrigue.