Review: Legends of the Lost Causes by Brad McLellan and Louis Sylvester — An MG Western Fantasy Full of Adventure and Perseverance!

Hi guys! Happy President’s Day!! Today I am off from school (yay, thank goodness), so I’m getting some much needed rest and relaxation. School is getting so much busier, and Lent has started, so I will be off of social media a lot these upcoming weeks. I will, however, check all my emails, messages, and notifications on my accounts once in the morning and once at night, so I will not ignore any messages you send me. It will take me some time to respond because I did give up social media for Lent, but I will be sure to look at and reply whenever I have the time. Today’s review is for Legends of the Lost Causes by Brad McLellan and Louis Sylvester, a new and becoming MG Western Fantasy series that infuses elements of Native American culture and Western adventures! I hope you check out this book when you have the chance!


About the BookLegends of the Lost Causes

A band of orphan avengers. A cursed stone. A horde of zombie outlaws. This is Keech Blackwood’s new life after Bad Whiskey Nelson descends upon the Home for Lost Causes and burns it to the ground.

With his home destroyed and his family lost, Keech will have to use the lessons he learned from Pa Abner to hunt down the powerful Char Stone. Luckily, he has the help of a ragtag team of orphans. Together, they’ll travel through treacherous forests, fight off the risen dead, and discover that they share mysterious bonds as they try to track down the legendary stone. Now, it’s a race against the clock, because if Bad Whiskey finds the stone first. . . . all is lost.

Legends of the Lost Causes releases tomorrow February 20th from Henry Holt!

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Pre-Order Legends of the Lost Causes here today!

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4 Stars

Disclaimer: Thanks so much to the publisher for sending me a free finished copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! This will not affect my review in any way.

Legends of the Lost Causes is the MG adventure novel that I have been looking for ages. It was fun and gripping at the same time, and it had everything from zombies and gun fights to curses and mystery. It felt so refreshing to read a book that enraptured me from page one! I just could not put it down, and I found myself going “One chapter more. I need to know what happens next!” so many times. Legends of the Lost Causes places you in the midst of the fighting between the orphans and the outlaws as it takes you on a wild adventure in search of the elusive Char Stone. This story will not only make readers smile but also inspire readers, regardless of age, to continue to fight for what is right in the face of enemies and evil.

What I love about novels like Legends of the Lost Causes is that they take you to places far and wide and allow you to experience dangerous and thrilling scenarios without actually being in any danger in real life. Certainly, this novel accomplishes that. I was thrust into a world in which Bible verses are used as secret codes (very smart!) and the dead (without their souls) can be resurrected into zombie outlaws called thralls. This western fantasy felt a lot like Indiana Jones for middle grade readers, with a Native American twist. There were so many twists and turns and shocks and surprises that I sat at the edge of my seat and became engrossed in the story. I gasped and I cried (internally). I laughed and I rejoiced. I truly enjoyed every second of reading it.

McLellan and Sylvester dazzled me with their well-crafted and fantastical world-building. One doesn’t encounter many historical fantasies, let alone western historical fantasies, in the book world. I truly felt as if I was in the Wild West battling villains and trekking through rough terrains. The magic–from the curse of Edgewood to the mystical pendants–was so fascinating! I loved how the authors infused elements of the Osage culture, including Keech having Native American ancestry, into this rip n’ riding adventure, and the folklore of the tribe was very interesting. It definitely added a whole new layer of magic and mystery to the story. I am so excited to see more of the Osage culture presented in the next book!

Legends of the Lost Causes is a tale of perseverance. As outlaws and enemies fought against Keech and his ragtime gang of orphans, they never gave up without a fight. Learning from these kids has shown me that you must keep on fighting even in the toughest of situations. This book is a great example of why I believe that Middle Grade has so much power–the bravery and courage of these kids rivals those of adults, even me! Everyone, including Keech, Nat, Duck, Cutter, and John Wesley, showed their strength when they were tested. They were always there for each other, and they knew how to get out of each situation. Truly they are role models for children and adults alike! I also loved all of Pa Abner’s advice that Keech recalls throughout his ventures; readers can even apply them in their own lives in certain situations (from survival to life and death).

I am so happy that this is the first book in an upcoming series by McLelland and Sylvester! It excites me that there is going to be more of Keech and the Lost Causes soon! There are so many unanswered questions at the end of the book that I hope will be resolved in the sequels. Certainly, I will be on the lookout for book two. The Legends of the Lost Causes series is very promising and one you should not miss! It’s perfect for those who long for an adventure, and I am confident that readers will find one in this stunning MG western fantasy debut!


Happy Reading!

+ J.M.J.

~ Kester

Are you excited for Legends of the Lost Causes? Do you like MG westerns and fantasies?

Comment below, or find me in one of my social media pages, and let’s chat!

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