Perhaps my favorite Polansky book, this is a short and stark tale of gun-slinger violence and betrayal and revenge. This is what Abercombie's _Best Served Cold_ should have been, with larger than life characters, fast and violent action, and a continual series of clever and occasionally funny plot-beats. While many novels are like a NetFlix television series (drawn out, stuffed with mediocre filler in order to create 10 hours of run time), _The Builders_ was closer to a movie. It actually has to tell its story and make its point within 90 minutes. That was also the approximate reading time of the novel, and I raced through the entire thing in one morning. Oh, and all the characters are animals, in the vein of _Tooth and Tail_ or the _Red Wall_ series. Or maybe like _Mouse Guard_, but with old West weaponry and dark Western theming. And now one minor spoiler, the best part of the book:
There's a fearsome character you hear about, "The Quaker". It turns out he's a rattle-snake. Get it? Quaker? Rattle? Literary genius.