Raid of Souls book cover


by Kalen Vaughan Johnson

Oppression brings out the best in some men . . .

In an escalating crusade, James MacLaren fights to unmask the syndicate bent on destruction of local mining towns. He is drawn into a treacherous battle of bribery, domination, and a scale of justice tilted decidedly against friends and neighbors.

Distracted by the fate of the miners, James suffers the absence of surrogate son Justin and loses sight of Charlotte’s objectionable romance. Justin lands squarely in the path of conflict, and Charlotte’s headstrong ways trigger James’s contempt for the rich . . . pitting father against daughter.

Casualties of gold and greed lie strewn across the landscape of San Francisco, Sacramento, and the mining towns of Sierra Nevada. Who survives the Raid of Souls?

Raid of Souls is the second book in The Empire Barons series.

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Editorial Reviews for Raid of Souls

“Raid of Souls, the second entry in Kalen Vaughan Johnson’s The Empire Barons, proves she has what it takes to carry a story. With an amazingly diverse cast of characters—good and bad, rich and poor—Johnson pulls the reader along as she explores the early years of California statehood, its dependence on mining to finance what was even then the California Dream, and the men and women who manipulated the levers behind the scenes. Raid of Souls smoothly picks up the tread of her first novel, Robbing the Pillars, and gives hope there will be a third.”

MICHAEL ZIMMER—Wrangler Award-Winning Author of, The Poacher’s Daughter

“Reflective of real life . . . a slow-burning story of good vs. evil and all the shades of gray that exist between the two.”


“Johnson weaves a luminous tapestry of these times with colorful, well-researched historical threads as the background to tell an engaging love story . . . This second book in a trilogy has a pace and rhythm that make it hard to put down.”

W. MICHAEL FARMER, Award Winning Author

“An incredible job of balancing historical detail with great story-stelling. The book does what historical fiction should: immersing you in a world that educates and entertains, with similarities easily equatable to today’s world.”


“Johnson’s portrayal of James’s persona was more than a brilliantly written character alive with tumultuous hurdles to overcome. He was a solid depiction of a rugged American man with a heart for justice, a soul riddled with pain and a mind with a penchant for justice.”


“This is historical writing at its best.”