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The Two Revolvers Saga

Dave Matthes
Dave Matthes Author Interview

Legend of the Horizon Vengeance follows the apocalyptic life of Rancid Mahoney and the man who took him under his wing. What inspired the direction of this novel and the journey Rancid goes on?

The themes I wrote about in the first book, Leave My Ashes on Blackheart Mountain, while important to the character of Mahoney, were still somewhat rudimentary, in that they were mostly about love and how to love someone in a world as brutal and unforgiving as the one these characters all live in. And I think the decision Mahoney made at the end of Blackheart Mountain summed up pretty well what that all means. In Book 2, Mahoney deals with the fallout of that decision, while taking on the brunt force of a plethora of even more complicated discoveries which will lead to even harder decisions. When I first wrote Mercy, a novella which would become the chronological Book 3 of The Two Revolvers Saga, Mahoney is already of a fairly advanced age. He’s grizzled with time, he’s pretty much an expert with the weapons that he has, both the physical and the emotional weapons. But in Books 1 and 2, the story takes place two decades before that, so he’s still pretty young and having to learn all of these incredibly harsh lessons on how to survive in an already ruthless world. So I think the core of these first two books, particularly Horizon Vengeance, is learning those lessons, but as the reader will find out, there is never any one single way with which to deal with the hard choices life throws at us, and just because a morally-good character makes one choice, it doesn’t always mean that choice was the right one.

What were some ideas that were important for you to personify in your characters?

Legend of the Horizon Vengeance is a massive story encompassing many different character arcs, while some that began in Blackheart Mountain are completed, others are expanded upon and left to grow through the remaining books in the series. In regards to Mahoney’s arc, I wanted to focus on his own growth from the point at which Blackheart Mountain ended, and lead into a sort of re-identifying himself. His journey throughout Horizon Vengeance begins at a point of having experienced much of the world, but that experience is still clouded with ignorance and a steep desire for purpose. When the book opens, he literally has no place of belonging, no sense of direction except for the vague words of Frank Delmont, his old mentor. And Frank is on a journey of his own, trying to rectify his own past mistakes. Their two journeys and lusts for clarity clash here and there, but ultimately, and Mahoney learns this quite violently, their collective journey is about acceptance.

What is one pivotal moment in the story that you think best defines Rancid Mahoney?

There is a moment about halfway through the book that happens between Mahoney and Frank that is perhaps the most eventful “pivot point” for Mahoney, but I can’t talk about that without spoiling the story, in fact there are many pivotal moments within the story that could be considered spoilers so I can’t really speak much on them. However, there is a moment between Mahoney and Wyatt Delmont, who is Mahoney’s step brother, that takes place just before a massive battle. Wyatt and Mahoney, while connected by half-blood, are both around the same age but grew up in different parts of the world learning different ways to survive, a reality that serves as a fissure dividing them in a way, both emotionally and morally. Mahoney’s two revolvers are sacred to him, as they have their own history. But just before the battle is to begin, Mahoney offers Wyatt one of his revolvers, and I think that a huge stepping stone for Mahoney in terms of learning to trust other people, made even more significant that it is Wyatt whom he is giving the revolver to.

What can readers expect in book three of the The Two Revolvers Saga?

Book 3 was actually the first book in the series I wrote, titled Mercy, it was originally intended as a simple standalone novella. It’s been out for a few years and the reception I received from readers is part of why I decided to expand on the world and lore of Rancid Mahoney. I’m currently working on Book IV, titled The Dead and the Dying, which will take place from the point of view of several characters, mostly set during the same time as Mercy, leading up to where that book ended, and going beyond.

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A year following The Battle of New Canterton, Rancid Mahoney, now wandering in exile and in search of purpose, answers the call of an old mentor and surrogate father figure, Frank Delmont, who has embarked on his own quest for redemption since his retirement from Gunther Ostrander’s vicious shadow.
With the war to the north incinerating the lands behind them, the two take to the sea aboard The Moonlady in search of the only other known two remaining members of the Delmont Family: Plath and Wyatt, Frank’s brother and son respectively. But all is not well in the Woodstar Triangle, the maritime trade routes that used to be known as The Caribbean Sea. A different sort of conflict has been brewing in the southern waters. Val Remo, Empress of Woodstar City, and Mahoney’s biological mother, has been confronted with her most challenging tribulation yet. Plaguing the Empress’ rule are the bloodthirsty, relentless Mantle of Fire, a fleet of pirates priding themselves with decades of unchallenged bloodshed, and Chief Zao of the Black Boar Tribe, emerging from the northern war to hunt down Tuskatawa deserters and their sympathizers alike.
As “guests” of the Empress at Morro Castle, a fortress carved out of the ruins of Old Havana, Mahoney and Frank are presented with a double-edged sword. Remo demands that Wyatt Delmont be brought back to her so that he may answer for his crimes of rebellion, insurrection, and most of all, stealing the Horizon Vengeance : Val Remo’s prized war vessel that has a story of its own beginning before Mahoney was born. To ensure her demands do not go unanswered, Remo sends along with Delmont and Mahoney the captain of the Igneous Reef, Sebastian “The Anvil” Longbar, a man feared for his brutal habit of feeding unruly crew members and prisoners to his pet, Celeste, a monstrous bear living in a cage deep in the bowls of his ship.
An expedition to reunite a family divided will clash with a conquest to overthrow an empire, and Rancid Mahoney will be forced to decide between family over principle, and self over fate.
Legend of the Horizon Vengeance is BOOK II in THE TWO REVOLVERS SAGA.

Legend of the Horizon Vengeance

Legend of the Horizon Vengeance (The Two Revolvers Saga Book 2) by [Dave Matthes]

Rancid Mahoney has received a letter–a letter from someone from his past. Someone has gone to a lot of trouble to seek Rancid out. As life has continued following the apocalypse, Rancid has moved on and forgotten much about his life as a young boy. The letter, however, holds the key to a new adventure and a dangerous one at that. The letter requests he make his way to a place called The Throat and to do so as quickly as possible. There are now decisions to be made, and Rancid faces the possibility of a reunion he never expected.

Legend of the Horizon Vengeance, by Dave Matthes, is the second book in The Two Revolvers Saga and follows the apocalyptic life of Rancid Mahoney and the man who took him under his wing. Theirs is a unique if strained relationship. Boarding the Moonlady in order to take part in Frank Delmont’s plan isn’t exactly what Rancid had in mind, but he doesn’t exactly have too many directions to turn. His fate aboard the ship seems sealed–swabbing, scraping, and scouring. Frank seems determined to teach Rancid some survival skills he believes he may still be lacking after all these years apart.

Matthes’s work reads much like a western. Set in apocalyptic times, readers will appreciate the writing style, the absolutely vivid descriptions, and the fantastic exchanges between characters. Matthes does include some particularly graphic depictions of carnage. He paints quite the picture of a world seemingly set on destroying itself.

Rancid and Frank have a strange relationship. Their bickering throughout the story keeps readers on their toes. There exists a kind of electricity between the two, and as much as I wanted them to come to terms with their history and move on, I wanted this dynamic to continue. The two completely make this novel what it is. They possess the perfect mixture of qualities of protagonist and antagonist.

I highly recommend Legend of the Horizon Vengeance to any fans of action/adventure series. I was particularly drawn to the setting of Matthes’s story. I have not often seen post-apocalyptic tales set on the open sea. This one is expertly told, is driven by well-developed characters in a thoroughly engaging plot, and contains the ideal amount of humor combined with peril and suspense. It is the perfect addition to any fiction fan’s library.

Pages: 478 | ASIN: B097C9SJ81

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