Wednesday, August 14, 2013

In Golden Splendor by Michael K. Reynolds

Last year I had the joy of reading a wonderful historical novel by Michael K. Reynolds--Flight of the Earls. Michael is one of those people you meet and you know you were blessed by the encounter. He's genuine, easy to talk to, and he typically has chocolate on hand. Anyone with chocolate rates highly in my life!

I couldn't wait to read book #2 in his Heirs of Ireland series. In Golden Splendor continues the saga of the Irish immigrants set in pre-Civil War America. It's available now! Head to Michael's Book page for links to purchase it!

In Golden Splendor

Irish immigrant Seamus Hanley is a lost soul, haunted by his past as a U.S. Army deserter and living alone in the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains in 1849. But after witnessing a deadly stage coach crash, he finds purpose in the scattered wreckage -- a letter with a picture of a beautiful and captivating woman named Ashlyn living in San Francisco at the height of the Gold Rush.
Moved by her written plea for help, he abandons all and sets out on an epic journey across the wild and picturesque American frontier. While being pursued by those who want to hang him, Seamus encounters fascinating characters including a young Pauite Indian who makes the ultimate sacrifice in helping Seamus to cross the snowy Yosemite Valley.

Battered but changed for the better, Seamus reaches San Francisco on Christmas Eve as the city burns in the tragic fire of 1849. But there is little time for rest, as an even greater, more harrowing adventure involving Ashlyn is about to begin.

My Review (4 Stars!!) ~

I loved Flight of the Earls, book one in the Heirs of Ireland series, so I couldn't wait to read the next installment. In Golden Splendor follows Seamus Hanley (Clare's troubled brother from book one) after his poor decisions in book one have landed him in a remote mountain area. Soon Seamus embarks on a journey of redemption where a beautiful stranger unlocks his future.

I loved the setting of this book. Pre-Civil War western America never felt so alive! Michael K. Reynolds does a tremendous job with the details. I could see the trails, feel Seamus's hunger, picture a booming gold rush town. Seamus's spiritual journey was fulfilling to read. I wanted him to succeed.

At times the plot became overwhelming--Seamus dealt with many near-death experiences which I'm sure was realistic for the time period--but I had to catch my breath as one crisis led to another with little time to process them. Other than that, this book was terrific!

I'm looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Caitlin Hanley!


Michael K. Reynolds is a writer with more than two decades of experience in crafting fiction, non-fiction, journalism, copywriting and documentary production. He is represented by Janet Kobobel Grant of Books & Such Literary Agency. He is the author of a series of Irish historical novels, The Heirs of Ireland, being published by B&H Publishing Group. 

Do you read historical fiction? What setting do you enjoy best?

Have a fantastic Wednesday!


  1. My mom would love these books! And her bday is coming! Thanks, Jill:)

    1. My mom loved the first one, Susan! I plan on giving her this one next time I see her. They are so good!

  2. Ooh I SO need to read this series. I love historical fiction!

    1. I do too, Melissa, and Michael knows his history! The details really bring it alive!


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