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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
A Sinister Splendor

A Sinister Splendor

A Mexican War Novel

Mike Blakely

Forge Books

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Pairing extensive research with a brilliance for reviving the past in gripping narrative, Spur Award-winning author Mike Blakely has penned an epic, historical novelization of the Mexican-American War in A Sinister Splendor

1845. Texas joins the union. Mexico threatens war over the disputed Texas border. But much more than the Rio Grande Valley lies at stake—expansionists dream of an America that sprawls all the way to the Pacific Coast. Can a conflict with an already war-torn Mexico satisfy this lust for territory?

President James K. Polk sends troops the Texas border to test Mexico’s appetite for war. General Zachary Taylor, known as “Old Rough and Ready,” leads the invasion south. A 24-year-old lieutenant named Ulysses S. Grant gets his first taste of battle. Texas Rangers John Coffee Hays and Sam Walker expand their reputations as fearless fighting men. An Irishman, John Riley, quits the U.S. Army—along with hundreds of other mistreated immigrant soldiers—and forms a Mexican battalion of U.S. deserters. Army laundress Sarah Bowman is celebrated as a heroine on her way to becoming a frontier legend. The infamous Mexican warlord, General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, returns to power through intrigue and political persuasion.

The Mexican-American war becomes the heroic proving ground for future Civil War generals and presidents of the United States, Mexico and the Confederacy. But the glories of victory are tempered by the horrors of war—lives lost, bodies battered, souls s… More…

Pairing extensive research with a brilliance for reviving the past in gripping narrative, Spur Award-winning author Mike Blakely has penned an epic, historical novelization of the Mexican-American War in A Sinister Splendor

1845. Texas joins the union. Mexico threatens war over the disputed Texas border. But much more than the Rio Grande Valley lies at stake—expansionists dream of an America that sprawls all the way to the Pacific Coast. Can a conflict with an already war-torn Mexico satisfy this lust for territory?

President James K. Polk sends troops the Texas border to test Mexico’s appetite for war. General Zachary Taylor, known as “Old Rough and Ready,” leads the invasion south. A 24-year-old lieutenant named Ulysses S. Grant gets his first taste of battle. Texas Rangers John Coffee Hays and Sam Walker expand their reputations as fearless fighting men. An Irishman, John Riley, quits the U.S. Army—along with hundreds of other mistreated immigrant soldiers—and forms a Mexican battalion of U.S. deserters. Army laundress Sarah Bowman is celebrated as a heroine on her way to becoming a frontier legend. The infamous Mexican warlord, General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, returns to power through intrigue and political persuasion.

The Mexican-American war becomes the heroic proving ground for future Civil War generals and presidents of the United States, Mexico and the Confederacy. But the glories of victory are tempered by the horrors of war—lives lost, bodies battered, souls shattered, dreams crushed, whole cities razed and innocence forever dashed. With a sinister splendor two very different cultures clash in an epic adventure of duty, patriotism and courage to the death.

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Second LieutenantSAM GRANT


Gravois Creek, MissouriMay 20, 1844

The Gravois roared at Lieutenant Grant from a quarter mile away. He reined in his cavalry mount and listened to the din of the tributary over...

Praise for A Sinister Splendor

“Blakely’s genius is to dramatize American history. He brings ardor and passion to this large task. He draws his characters from the dusty pages of history and brings them vividly to life. His novels brim with real people making fateful decisions. I admire him and his fine historical fiction.” —Richard Wheeler, six-time Spur Award-winning author

“A capstone work that transcends and categorizes an author’s lifetime, A Sinister Splendor elevates Mike Blakely into the same rarified air as A.B. Guthrie, Conrad Richter, and Michael Shaara. Blakeley penetrates the veil of years and legend and masterfully places the reader there, in that war, to live the power, tragedy, courage and despair of a conflict that defined a hemisphere. There is no other description than to call A Sinister Splendor a masterwork.” —Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear, New York Times bestselling authors of Star Path

“The only problem with Mike Blakely’s new novel A Sinister Splendor is now that I’m finished reading one of the better novels to come across my desk in a very long time, I have only two choices open: Either wait until the sequel comes out, or re-read this one.”—David Hagberg, New York Times bestselling author of Flash Points

“Blakely has put together a meticulously researched and compellingly told account of the Mexican-American War. With crisp prose and unerring detail, he brings to life some of the greatest legends of that era.” —Ward Larsen, USA Today bestsell… More…

“Blakely’s genius is to dramatize American history. He brings ardor and passion to this large task. He draws his characters from the dusty pages of history and brings them vividly to life. His novels brim with real people making fateful decisions. I admire him and his fine historical fiction.” —Richard Wheeler, six-time Spur Award-winning author

“A capstone work that transcends and categorizes an author’s lifetime, A Sinister Splendor elevates Mike Blakely into the same rarified air as A.B. Guthrie, Conrad Richter, and Michael Shaara. Blakeley penetrates the veil of years and legend and masterfully places the reader there, in that war, to live the power, tragedy, courage and despair of a conflict that defined a hemisphere. There is no other description than to call A Sinister Splendor a masterwork.” —Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear, New York Times bestselling authors of Star Path

“The only problem with Mike Blakely’s new novel A Sinister Splendor is now that I’m finished reading one of the better novels to come across my desk in a very long time, I have only two choices open: Either wait until the sequel comes out, or re-read this one.”—David Hagberg, New York Times bestselling author of Flash Points

“Blakely has put together a meticulously researched and compellingly told account of the Mexican-American War. With crisp prose and unerring detail, he brings to life some of the greatest legends of that era.” —Ward Larsen, USA Today bestselling author of Cutting Edge

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Reviews from Goodreads

Mike Blakely

MIKE BLAKELY is the author of several novels of the West, including Comanche Dawn and Moon Medicine. His novel Summer of Pearls won the Spur Award for Best Novel in 2001. Blakely makes his home in Marble Falls, Texas.

image of Mike Blakelyo
Joan Dyer

Forge Books

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