as by John Killdeer
Bantam Domain, December 1992
It was a land of harsh beauty and fierce dangers – and the men and women who made their livelihood in the Rocky Mountains had to use every resource of strength and shrewdness to survive there. For trapper Cleve Bennett and his Cheyenne wife, Second Son, their most perilous journey lies ahead – to the great rendezvous where they will trade their winter’s bounty of furs. But between the camp and their destination lie wild rivers and rough mountains. Wilder people, both red and white, inhabit those reaches, and Cleve is hardened to the knowledge that they would as soon kill him and his family as any game.
As Cleve Bennett and his wife, Second Son, head for a rendezvous, they find themselves in a deadly battle with a band of Pawnee from which they barely escape with their lives. The Pawnee leader vows revenge.
And then came the middle section of the story, which just moved from one unrelated incident to another. Although these scenes were as well written as the rest of the book they had nothing to do with the main thread of the Pawnee’s quest for vengeance, coming across as though John Killdeer (author Ardath Mayhar) included them just to fill up the pages.
Even the attempted rape of Second Son, for which both Bennett and Second Son swore to see the perpetrators die, went nowhere, the rapists getting away. Maybe this storyline will continue in a latter book as characters do reappear in subsequent books.
After the first two books left me wanting more I found this one a little disappointing. Shame. I only hope the series picks up again with the next book.