Taran Collins is a long way from home. Home is Earth, but he finds himself on a strange planet chasing bad guys—or, in his current predicament a female thief, Zayri LaRarque—and he’s stranded in a desert where when it rains, the sand bursts into flame. When it does in fact rain, Taran takes the only escape route, a strange city buried in the sand, and then finds himself on one of the planet’s four moons where he discovers people much like himself who are enslaved by a race of human-animal hybrids. He is given the mission to find Zayri, ally with her, and deliver his people from slavery.
If you’re a fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter on Mars, you’ll enjoy reading Ice Wind by Guy S. Stanton III. In this book Stanton has Taran, like John Carter, a Civil War veteran who finds himself on a strange planet far from Earth, facing similar challenges and through his fighting ability and faith, dealing with seemingly insurmountable odds with a combination of humor and derring-do that is typical of the merger of Western and Science Fiction, but, unlike Burroughs, he includes a dose of religion in the story—in a very subtle way that does not at all detract from a nicely structured adventure yarn.
The only negative aspect of this story is some unconventional grammar in the narrative that if cleaned up would elevate it to the top of its class. Unfortunately, because of the grammar issues I have to give it three stars.