Sunday, 20 July 2008

For the Brand

A Ralph Compton book 
by David Robbins
Signet, October 2005

Willis Lander was once the Bar T ranch's best bronc buster. Then came the day when a stallion as black as pitch and as mean as a rattler shattered his knee. Unable to perform the duties required of a cowboy, Willis took the only job he felt capable of handling - minding the line shack forty miles from the ranch - and secluded himself from the pity of his peers in the Wyoming wilderness. Now the Bar T is being sold and Lander’s wonders about his future. Will the new owner want to keep a broken bronc buster on the payroll? Laurella Hendershot is a Texas rancher grateful for the opportunity to leave the Lone Star state behind and build a new life for herself. She just maybe Willis’ last chance...

If you’re expecting an action packed western of the kind usually associated with author David Robbins then prepare to be pleasantly surprised. Yes there’s action where needed but to have included anymore would have been at the expense of other powerful scenes. Scenes of hope, scenes that people are more than what is seen from the outside, scenes of laughter and scenes of love.

The two central characters cannot fail to tug at the emotions as they experience feelings they never thought they never would. There are other characters that will stick in your memory for different reasons such as the Flour Sack Kid: an outlaw whose antics will have you laughing to begin with but then you’ll find is quite a tragic character really.

David Robbins has told a great tale here but not only does it provide an entertaining read but it should also leave a powerful message too.

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