Maurice Broaddus’ utterly fantastic PoC steampunk Buffalo Soldier opens with Desmond Coke on the run with his young charge, Lij Tafari. Having absconded with the boy from Jamaica to Albion to the Free Republic of Tejas, their next step is to cross through the strongly defended territory of the Assembly of the First Nations and thence to sanctuary and liberty in Canada.
When they hole up in a Tejas town called Abandon, Desmond’s plan goes pear shaped. He may be a former servant-turned-spy, but he and Lij’s dark skin and Jamaican accents puts them in the crosshairs of Albion industrialist Garrison Hearst, gun-toting Tejan Cayt Siringo, Niyabingi rebels, Maroon Rastafarians, and the technologically advanced Seminole. Everyone wants to capture Lij and use him for their own nefarious purposes. Desmond swore to protect Lij at all costs, but that may not be an oath he’s able to keep. With his cane-sword in one hand Lij in the other, Desmond will have to fight for Lij’s survival like he’s never fought before. Only the boy matters, now.