Friday, March 10, 2023

My Review of Blackfoot Dawn by John Legg

Blackfoot Dawn by John Legg is Book 2 of the Mountain Times trilogy, a western series set in the days of the mountain men (1830s/40s). The main character is a big, burly mountain guide and trapper named Squire. He’s got a mean streak a mile wide and is called L’on Farouche (the Fierce) by his enemies, the Blackfeet Indians.

This novel is a standalone, but picks up where Book 1, Winter Rage, ends. Hired by an outfitter to trap beaver in the Rockies, Squire and his crew face all the challenges one would expect in the wilderness – wild animals, extreme weather, Indians on the warpath, conniving competitors.

Through it all, the author offers a generally exciting and interesting series of adventures. Squire is a bit unlikeable, imo, but the secondary characters are well-drawn and have stories of their own to tell, so it’s pretty solid writing overall.

Plot: At the annual Rendezvous, Squire sees a long-time foe whom he suspects knows the location of his long-lost son, stolen by the Blackfeet some 16 years prior. The story then flashes back to Squire’s origin story (as a boy, how he became so violent, and then as a young man) and how he lost his first wife and child in an Indian raid coordinated by some by a man named Carney, his nemesis.

The narrative is gritty, ugly, raw, full of violence, torture, scalpings, rape, foul language (too many GD’s and n-words for my taste), and general mayhem. If you like strong, uncensored and unfiltered action, this series might be for you. I skimmed quite a bit of those scenes and the novel seemed a bit long to me, but again pretty engrossing at times.

I was probably overly harsh with my review of the first book in the series, Winter Rage. I rated that novel at just under 3 stars. But together, I would put the series at 3.25 stars so far. I’ll eventually finish the trilogy (Book 3 is Mountain Rage), but I need a break from all the violence.

This is my 9th book I've finished this year and below I'm listing the books read and am linking to my reviews of each book - a 52 week challenge. I'm a bit behind but may catch up in a few weeks. I'm usually reading 4 or 5 books at a time and sometimes finish a few within a few days of each other. (grin)


My 52 Week Challenge: Read and Review 52 Books in 2023
(Books listed in reading order, not review order, lol.)

1. Razored Land by Charles Gramlich - post-apocalypse (review TBD)
2. The Stroke of Winter by Wendy Webb - mystery (reviewed Jan 11)
3. Feast of Fools and Other Tales - S&S anthology (reviewed Jan 19)
4. Clovel Sword Saga (Vol 1&2) by Gordon Brewer - S&S (review TBD)
5. The Hike by Susi Holliday - mystery/thriller (reviewed March 7)
6. Valengetrix: Ghost of Aratania by J.R. Cason - sword & sorcery (reviewed Feb 25)
7. Swords & Heroes - Sword & Sorcery Anthology (edited by me! review TBD)
8. The Viking Gael Saga by J.T.T. Ryder - historical fiction (reviewed March 9)
9. Blackfoot Dawn by John Legg - a mountain man western (reviewed above)

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Keep it clean and positive. (And sorry about the word verification, but the spmb*ts are out in full force!)