Master of the Wild
J. Bradley Van Tighem
Many Wolves and his wilderness village have enjoyed fifteen winters of peace and prosperity since Thorn Bird's war. Now, a new enemy threatens to take the buffalo lands away from the Penateka people. His name is Captain James McCord, but he is widely known as Lead Fingers throughout Comancheria. The Penateka and Nokoni Comanches have reunited after many winters of unrest to fight this common enemy and have asked Many Wolves, and his friend Malone, to fight at their side. During a peace talk, Many Wolves meets a mysterious man named the Green-Eyed Coyote who comes from the lands in the south. Why is he staring at me?
“Our lands have been invaded by a predator,” said Crooked Eagle. “A predator who has tasted our blood and now thirsts for it. A predator whose hunger for death only grows stronger. This predator is the taiboo called Lead Fingers. He has drawn blood from both the Nokoni and Penateka. In moons past, we could outrun our enemy’s horses, hide from their trackers, and kill their men while they loaded their fire sticks. But Lead Fingers has taken this from us. He has bred horses from our horses, befriended Navoonah trackers to follow our scent, and created weapons that do not need to be loaded. Even now, he watches us from a camp less than a day’s ride away.”
J. Bradley Van Tighem was born and raised in California, a sixth-generation Californian. He is an avid nature buff, especially fond of birds of prey and reptiles. He dabbled in falconry for several years, but realized he couldn't dedicate enough time to it with a full-time job as a Java programmer and two sports-loving teenage boys.
His fiction attempts to capture his love of falconry and the Native American cultures, specifically the Apache and Comanche tribes of Texas. The first book of the Master of the Wild Series is entitled “Puha” and is set in the 1700s, unsettled Texas, before Rangers, revolvers, and rifles. A western without cowboys during a time when the Comanches, “the most powerful tribe in American history” as coined by historian S. C. Gwynne, roamed the Southern Plains on their painted ponies. “Puha” blends “My Side of the Mountain” with “Dances With Wolves.”
He hopes to follow-up “Puha” with the second and third installments of the series entitled “Mestizo” and “Tejano," respectively. Look for “Mestizo” at the end of 2014...
This is the third of the series Master of the Wild. Puha was the first followed by Mestizo and then Tejano. These books are about a time long ago when the lands belonged to the Indians. When the wilderness was roamed by buffalo which served as food, hides used for clothing, blankets and more. Thorn Bird's war has been over for 15 years. The village that Many Wolves has lived has been blessed with peace and plenty. But, danger is back. Their wilderness lands are being threatened. After all these years the Comanches, Penateka and Nokoni, have not gotten along, but now they plan to unite to go against Lead Fingers also known as Captain James McCord. Lead Fingers is an enemy of both the Penateka and Nokoni and plans to take their land from them. Lead Fingers has a taste for blood and his thirst hasn't been quenched. Their land and livelihood, their survival, is at stake. The Comancheria want Many Wolves to be on their side, to fight for the common cause. But things have changed. The Indians used to be able to hide from t heir predators. Their weapons used to be able to take a man down in a heart beat. Their horses used to be the fastest. But Lead Fingers has bred and re-bred the horses, has modern weapons and has hired excellent trackers. Times have definitely changed. As peace talks are taking place, Many Wolves is aware that a strange man is watching him. This man is known as the Green-Eyed Coyote. Why is he paying so much attention to Many Wolves? The Comanches know that they are in arm's reach of much danger. How can they save their land? Will they be able to go against Lead Fingers and survive?
This is definitely a western, but not your usual gunslingers, Indians on the war path and the good guy riding off into the sunset. It's about the Native Americans and their struggles to survive, their lands in the unsettled wilderness of Texas in the 1700's. Your heart may skip a beat at times. You may want to reach out and snatch Lead Fingers up and give him a taste of that blood he longs for. Sometimes we need a reminder of those Indians back then and their lands. This was a time when law was what you made it. This was before law became law. It was a time of harsh time, struggles and you did what you had to to survive. The author goes deep into the history of this time period. You will either love or hate the characters. They aren't just simple people, they are complex.
So if you want a different kind of western and a chance to get to ride with the Comanches in their struggles against Lead Fingers, then definitely read this third book in the series, Master of the Wild. It is a long book but well worth the read.
I received a copy of this book from the author, Mr. Van Tighem and voluntarily decided to review it.
I would give this book 5 STARS.
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