The Magpie Coffin by Wile E. Young, Narrated by Sean Duregger

Wile E. Young paints a grim portrait of the postbellum American west, replete with magic and mystery. In this shadow permeated version of the wild west, the author spins a tale that fuses horror and fantasy with otherwise familiar tropes and western motifs.
It would be impossible to talk about The Magpie Coffin without first spending some time introducing the protagonist of this amazing Splatter Western. Salem Covington is a riveting character. One can think of him, in the simplest terms, as being equal parts Jonah Hex, a wild west incarnation of Dexter Morgan, and a little bit Elric of Melnibone–substituting a pistol for the sword, Stormbringer. A student of dark magic from various sources and cursed with the need to kill for the sake of his own damned soul, Mr. Covington is far from a heroic figure. There is a strained and rigid nobility to him, though. As with most antihero characters, he has a code of sorts that guides his actions.
Upon discovering that his old Comanche teacher, Dead Bear, has been murdered and that a white buffalo has been slaughtered by the same band of killers, Covington sets out on a quest to bring down everyone involved. Enlisting the assistance of one of the men associated with the killing, his pursuit of vengeance carries the reader through the Dakota Territory and into the Rocky Mountains of what would soon become Colorado.
Leaving a trail of bodies and tortured souls in his wake, Salem Covington chases quarry who might just be too dangerous for even The Black Magpie to overcome.
My only complaints with this book are present because I happen to be a South Dakota resident. North and South Dakota didn’t become states until 1889, and Deadwood is nowhere near North Dakota, sitting approximately 130 miles South of the North Dakota border. But, considering how few people seem to recognize that North and South Dakota exist at all, it’s not exactly a deal-breaker.
The narration by Sean Duregger for the audiobook is fantastic, capturing the grit and cruel nature of Salem Covington with a degree of authenticity that felt right. The narrative, being shared by Covington in first-person, making it simple to distinguish the voices of secondary characters without any trouble.

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