Rosenthal has a refreshingly different spin on the presentation of humanity in this series and a moving sensitivity to the plight of slaves and native Americans. I will not sit here and say this is like "Lonesome Dove" or "Dances with Wolves", because Threads has its own style, its own very unique and poignant message. There is an amazingly just treatment of all groups represented, with the exception perhaps of the cheeky under-current of venom directed at government,,,, whoops I digress. What i did note is the equitable audience given to all peoples, across the board. All are represented and all are unequivocally, undeniably human in their dreams, their fears, their lives and their loves. There is an undeniable thread connecting each to the other and them to us.
My favorite part --- the character development of a most cruel outlaw, and how he is juxtaposed with the most noble hero. Rosenthal's treatment of the psychological development of that (outlaw) character and the spirit of healing brought forth by an unlikely relationship is astounding, surprising, heartwarming and completely believable and consuming...my god i can't wait for Book III: Uncompahgre.
But don't let this talk of emotionally moving tenderness fool you. Maps of Fate is literally chock full of gut-wrenching action....be it the chase scene, Indian raid, or renegade assault, Rosenthal pulls no punches. It's raw, uncut, unedited and in your face! Thanks to Maps, i now have a visual and audio of the grotesque feel of a scal......
Aha!! but wait... this review would not be complete without a snippet of the sensual side of humanity... and yes, every angle of this is explored and presented,,, some delicate, and the other kind. No, this is not the syrupy romance of romance novels... rather, Rosenthal explores the primal raw drive which most of us are trained to pretend does not exist, yet below the surface, again, simmers undeniable. I think perhaps this is one of Rosenthal's real talents,,, to cut through the pretty charades, the masks and pretenses and expose our very human humanity.