as by David Thompson
Leisure, December 2008
Samuel Worth never meant to kill the man. But when the son of the plantation owner they worked for tried to attack Samuel’s daughter, he had to defend her. Now his whole family is on the run from a pack of slave hunters and their bloodhounds – straight into the deadly wilds of the Rocky Mountains.
Nate King and his family value their freedom. It’s one of the reasons they chose to live so far from civilization. It’s also why Nate knows he and his wife, Winona, must use every trick at hand to help the Worths escape their captors – even if it costs them their own freedom to do it.
David Thompson (David Robbins) has come up with yet another fast moving, hard to put down, entry into his excellent Wilderness series. The storyline switches from Nate and Winona King to the Worths regularly, often leaving each family in a cliff-hanger situation. Not only do they all face danger from other people but also from the creatures that inhabit the Wilderness itself. The Worths encounter with an alligator being especially breath taking.
Once the Kings and Worths meet up sections of the book follow the slave-hunters, and seeing how they have the ability to second-guess what Nate King plans makes you wonder how the Worths will gain the freedom they so desperately want. This leads to some first rate, nerve pounding, action scenes.
And I did find myself laughing outloud at some of the comments and arguments that both sets of family came up with. David Robbins often injects welcome humouress lines and situations into the Wilderness books.
Of course the issue of slavery plays an important part in the storyline, as does that of bigoted race views – the latter being one of the ongoing themes of the whole series, usually directed at the Indian and half-breeds.
There are plenty of memorable characters too, such as the leader of the slave hunters, Catfish, and the Worths themselves, the mother Emala perhaps the most but for the wrong reasons maybe as she came across well as a whining, irritating person, that I’d have liked to have seen killed off early on.
Does Emala, or any of the other major characters meet their death? That’s not for me to say here, you must read the book for yourselves to find out that answer, but be warned, the ending will have you desperate for more!