Friday, February 21, 2014

Road to Reckoning by Robert Lautner



Book Synopsis

A novel that hits right to the heart of fans of Cold Mountain and True Grit. Set in 1837, this is the completely compelling story of 12-year-old orphan Thomas Walker and his treacherous journey home through the wide open lands of America.

‘I, to this day, hold to only one truth: if a man chooses to carry a gun he will get shot. My father agreed to carry twelve.’

Young Tom Walker cannot believe his luck when his father allows him to accompany him on the road, selling Samuel Colt’s newly-invented revolver. They will leave behind the depression and disease that is gripping 1830’s New York to travel the country together.

Still only twelve years old, Tom is convinced that he is now a man. Fate, it seems, thinks so too …

On the road west the towns get smaller, the forests wilder, and the path more unforgiving. A devastating encounter cuts their journey tragically short, and  eaves Tom all alone in the wilderness.

Struggling to see a way home, he finds his only hope: ageing ranger Henry Stands, who is heading back east. Tom’s resolve to survive initiates an unlikely partnership that will be tested by the dangers of the road ahead, where outlaws prowl.

Book Review

Twelve year old Thomas Walker heads out on the road with his father, a travelling salesman peddling a new gun, the Colt Revolver. A chance encounter with a dangerous outlaw leaves Thomas alone after his father is shot. He must find his way home alone.

Henry Stands is a former ranger who reluctantly finds himself burdened with Thomas as he leads the boy home. But Thomas is bent on revenging his father’s death, and it is this desire that continually draws Henry into the conflict.

Told through the point of view of young Thomas, in this coming of age novel, there is much to enjoy. First, the characters are unique, raw, charismatic, fascinating. So well developed, I could not help but turn the pages to see what they would do and say next. There were many tense scene as well as ones that truly touched the heart. It can definitely be compared with True Grit, but has its own unique story and setting. It is a different type of western novel, strongly character driven but with a powerful storyline.

I truly loved this novel. Beautifully rendered, it was poignant yet gripping. I especially enjoyed learning about the history of Colt and his guns and its effect on America's west. There is something in this novel that is sure to please every reader, no matter the gender, no matter the age.

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