Archive for the ‘Western’ Category

Review: Sackett’s Land – Louis L’amour

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
Mass Market Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Bantam; Reissue edition (April 1, 1980)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0553276867
ISBN-13: 978-0553276862
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Barnabas Sackett – Refugee from England.
Rupert Genester – Nephew to the Earl of Cambridgeshire.
Abigail Tempany – Daughter of a ships captain.
Brian Tempany – Ship Captain, helps Barnabas get to America.


Barnabas Sackett finds a sack containing ancient roman coins. While trying to determine the value of these coins, he insults the nephew of the Earl of Cambridgeshire. The man puts out what amounts to a death sentence on Barnabas. He decides to flee the country, and books passage on a ship for America. Along the way he must fight off the perils of the new land, as well as a group of pirates/bounty hunters determined to take him back for a cash reward.


My only exposure to the Sacketts was through novels and stories such as The Sacketts and The Daybreakers. I’m a huge fan of Mr. L’amour’s work though, and this one was no exception. I found it very interesting to travel back to the beginning of a family I’d already known. I get to see their struggles in the old country, and I get to see what the travel was like coming to the new country. Being a fan of history and genealogy, I found this aspect very interesting.

The great thing about a Louis L’amour novel is that while you read and are entertained, you are also educated. The novel is clean, there is no foul language, some western type violence, but nothing gory. I’ve been reading novels by this Master storyteller since I was very young, and always have had a love for his stories. I feel it’s probably appropriate for all ages, though some who are opposed to guns may find it objectionable.

For a great period piece set in the early years before our country was established, pick up this book. I think you’d love it, and I think it would appeal to those fans of westerns as well as historical fiction.

About the Author

Louis L’Amour is the only American-born novelist in history to receive both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. He published ninety novels, thirty short-story collections, two works of nonfiction, a memoir, Education of a Wandering Man, and a volume of poetry, Smoke from This Altar. There are more than 300 million copies of his books in print.

Our foremost storyteller of the authentic West, Louis L’Amour has thrilled a nation by chronicling the adventures of the brave men and women who settled the American frontier. There are more than 260 million copies of his books in print around the world.

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Review: The Blood of Heroes – James Donovan

Thursday, June 14th, 2012
Hardcover: 512 pages
Little, Brown and Company; First Edition edition (May 15, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316053740
ISBN-13: 978-0316053747
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A small band of rebels stand off against the larger forces of the Mexican Army for 13 days in 1836.


This was an incredible book on one of the most well known events in American History. The author begins by devoting each chapter on one of the major participants: Jim Bowie, Sam Houston, William Travis, David Crockett. We get a brief view of their early history, and their journey towards The Alamo.

The reader also gets to see The Alamo from the opposite side through the various Mexican forces that participated. The reader not only gets to see the 13 days of fighting that took place, but all the events both militarily and politically that went on prior to the siege.

If there was one drawback, it’s that the book is labeled as the 13 day struggle, but very little of the actual content in comparison is about the 13 days. If you are just expecting to read about only that battle, it might disappoint you. However, if you want to learn about everything leading up to it, and afterwards, then you would really enjoy this book.

I liked how the author covered this subject so much with a list of books, photographs, a list of participants, etc. that I intend to pick up another book of his called “A Terrible Glory” that is on the Battle of Little Big Horn.

If you’re a fan of history, a Texan, or just a fan of history, then you should pick this up. I’d say it’s geared towards older readers though because it does depict people being killed.

About the Author

 James Donovan is the author of the classic illustrated account of Custer’s Last Stand, Custer and the Little Bighorn.

He lives in Dallas.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Anna at Hachette Book Group for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: Brionne – Louis L’Amour

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Bantam; 36th THUS edition (December 1, 1995)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0553281070
ISBN-13: 978-0553281071
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Major James Brionne
Dutton Mowry
Cotton Allard
Mat Brionne
Miranda Loften


A young boy watches his mother attacked, and her suicide at the hands of a gang of killers named Allard. Major James Brionne had testified, causing the oldest Allard brother to be hung. Now they are after revenge. Major Brionne takes his son and heads west seeking out a new life for them. They make some allies along the way, and some enemies.


This is one of the first Louis L’amour novels I’ve read in years. He’s one of the best western novelists there has ever been , and his books are always pretty accurate. I found this a very thrilling story from page one to the end. The book is rather short, so it wasn’t a long read. There was the normal violence expected within a western novel. There are also ties that bring different characters together on their journey.

If you like Westerns, I think you’d defnitely like Brionne. It would be suitable I think for any age in which a John Wayne film would be suitable.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: Threads West – Reid Lance Rosenthal

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Rockin SR Publishing (October 12, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0982157614
ISBN-13: 978-0982157619
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Johannes Svenson – Norway
Reuben Frank – Prussia
Sarah Bonney – Liverpool
Zebariah Taylor – United States
Inga Bjorne – New York
Jacob O’Shanahan – Ireland
Rebecca Marx – London


Seven strangers from various parts of the world, set off in 1855 for life in the United States. Along the way, they’ll have various encounters with some of the dangers during that time period. Dangers ranging from Indian attacks, con men, killers, etc.


The story to this was very interesting. You get to know each character prior to their living for the U.S. and see what their lives were like, what their dreams are for their new life, and their fears. One seeks his fortune, one runs from her past, and one is willing to kill to obtain whatever he desires.

This novel presents a very interesting view of the early immigrant experience. The author is very versed in the Western lifestyle. While much of the book seemed accurate to the time period, there was one or more times, where the characters used what seemed like a more contemporary language. That was probably the one drawback I had with the book.

While the main story was a little weak, it is the first in a 6 book proposed series, so I have to assume following books would have a much stronger storyline to them.

There is some mild language, and adult situations. I’d recommend this foro older teens or adults. If you are a fan of westerns, I think you’d like this, or if you are a fan of historical fiction, you’d enjoy it.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Rebecca at The Cadence Group for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

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Dead Man’s Walk – Larry McMurtry

Monday, August 10th, 2009



Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (October 17, 2000)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0684857545
ISBN-13: 978-0684857541
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Main Characters:

Augustus McCrae
Woodrow Call
Buffalo Hump
Bigfoot Wallace
Matilda Roberts

Storyline Summary

This is the tale of the first adventures of Texas Rangers Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call. There are two main adventures within this story. The first tale involves the band of rangers running up against the great Commanche war chief Buffalo Hump. During the course of this adventure, our heroes learn what it’s like to go up against the Commanche’s, when a large part of their party is killed by Buffalo Hump and his men. Their second adventure finds them on an expedition to Mexico . This adventure gives rise to the title of the book. They are captured during the course of their expedition, and forced on a march through the long desert, on what is called “The Dead Man’s March” or “Jornado Del Muerto”. We also get the chance to meet some of the characters from Lonesome Dove for the first time. Gus meets Clara Forsythe and Woodrow meets Maggie, the prostitute, who later gives birth to his son Newt.

Novel Review

This was an enjoyable book. I found myself really liking the characters. McMurtry has a very good grasp of creating characters and situations that are realistic. The book is at times very gritty, dark, and very little humor. There are many violent scenes that may not be appropriate for younger readers.

One particular problem I had at times was with the strong language. It seemed to be put in too often, and wasn’t quite necessary in telling the story. The same story could have been told, in a more family-friendly style by leaving out the swearing. Now it’s not to say I’m a prude on this, but I’m used to Louis L’amour where there was very little swearing. I just prefer clean westerns that anyone can enjoy. However, McMurtry does have some strong female characters in his writing, which is probably pretty accurate to the period. I also thought the final conclusion fizzled after such a buildup. It just seemed to end kind of anti-climatic.

I definitely plan on picking up the next novel in this series. If you want a gritty, western with lots of action, pick this up and read it. You’ll probably enjoy it.  You can discuss it here