The Military Writers Society of America awarded Black Sun its 2016 GOLD Medal for excellence in Historical Fiction. This was a true honor considering the exacting standards of MWSA and the volume of great works Black Sun was in competition against. The accompanying MWSA review equaled the GOLD Medal:
MWSA Book Review
Reviewed by Lee Boyland
Historical fiction at its best—The Mexican Revolution of 1910
To understand a nation you must read its history. The author takes the reader on a journey beginning in 1900, told through the eyes of a fictional young man. Mexico is slowly sinking into chaos under the dictatorial rule of President for life Diaz. Foreign interests are raping Mexico’s resources and people while paying off the president and his cronies. Desperate people are capable of desperate action and the faint scent of revolution is in the air.
The story begins with fourteen-year-old Mexican peon, Arnulfo Triana, laboring in the Ojuela Mine near the village of Mapimí in the State of Durango, Mexico. Conditions are poor and the pay is minimal. Only the native Indians have worse working conditions. Garcia, the foreman, is sadistic and has chosen Arnulfo as his current target. Chamaco, an older miner with a varied background attempts to protect him from Garcia.
Arnulfo witnesses Garcia assaulting a Yaqui Indian woman and uses a shovel to end her rape, giving the reader their first indication of the man the young boy will become. In gratitude, the woman presents Arnulfo with a gift. Events become confused and Arnulfo flees. Chamaco follows on a “borrowed” mule and the two become lifelong friends. Along the way they meet Pancho Villa and join him. During the following years, Arnulfo grows into a man, takes the name Indio, and becomes Pancho’s trusted companion as Mexico continues its downward spiral. Villa is a natural leader and a powerful force for the people against its dictatorial president. Through Indio, the reader meets Emiliano Zapata, Abraham González, and many leaders of the coming revolution, including Francisco Madero, the man who would light the fuse.
The author’s descriptions of people, places and battles allows the reader to become part of unfolding events. Black Sun is a story of courage, despair, patriotism, deception, heroism, betrayal, loyalty, greed, honor, and leadership—both good and bad. It is the story of the Mexican Revolution of 1910 and beyond.
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Along with receiving a wonderful “Readers Favorite 5 Star Review” written by Viga Boland, Black Sun has been quite honored with such recognition. But as noted in my blog article “My Journey with BLACK SUN,” this novel was far more than the simple writing of a historical fiction—it was the story of my grandfather’s life as he endured the onset and years of a brutal, bloody revolution that threw his country into violent turmoil. The research seemed never ending and the lead characters of the Mexican Revolution of 1910 were of such madness that I wondered at times if anyone would believe their true, odd idiosyncrasies.
And adding to the awards was the excellent cover design by Jake Starkey who artistically blended the famous mural work of Diego Rivera (used through permission from the Estate of Diego Rivera) with captivating colors and visual presence to further enhance Black Sun.
Black Sun is available in print and eBook from all major booksellers except Amazon where it is only available in print. If your only means of reading Black Sun is through Kindle, contact me at GStarkeyBooks@aol.com so I may assist you.
I hope you will enjoy Black Sun, as well as my other novels, and I look forward to your review of the work—or write to me if you want to discuss the book! My thanks to MWSA for honoring my novel.