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Anne Sweazy-Kulju
Grog Wars, Dos

Children/Young Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Publish)

The stand-alone partner book to Grog Wars: In 1861, Castle Beer patriarch Burke Kaufmann's nephew, August, becomes embroiled in a horrible tragedy when his girlfriend's infant is found murdered. Burke needs to get August safely out of Portland, and luck shines. Austrian Prince Maximilian, recently crowned Emperor of Mexico by Napoleon III, suddenly finds himself short a brew master when one dies en route. August agrees to go to Mexico, but with the priority of finding his girlfriend's cowardly brother, Pearl, and punishing him for his role in the incident.

Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 8 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 8.25 out of 10


Death radically alters the life of the nephew of beer magnate Burke Kaufmann in this inspired, sprawling sequel to Grog Wars set in Oregon in 1861. As a work of YA fiction, the originality of the story's Old West theme and its historical locales help elevate it above other novels in the genre, while the elegant language and smooth storytelling make it a fine stand-alone. Sweazy-Kulju's prose is uncomplicated and her story will entertain both young and older readers eager to immerse themselves in a distinctive time and place filled with royalty, mischief, a lush backdrop, and protective characters with a score to settle. 

Date Submitted: August 19, 2016