Saturday, 21 May 2011

Wilderness Giant Edition #2

By David Thompson
Leisure, June 1993

The Wild Land: Savage and dangerous, the unmapped territory west of the Mississippi presented constant challenges to anyone who dared venture into it. Yet as the cities of the new country grew into overcrowded metropolises, a young man had to head to the unexplored region if he hoped to fulfil the great American Dream of liberty.

The Courageous Spirit: Undaunted by the countless threats that imperilled them, Nathaniel King and other brave mountain men struggled to build a life unfettered by the corruption of society. It was a fight to the death, and only the strong could hope to survive.

The Never-Ending Battle: When a group of English travellers journeyed into the Rockies, they had no defense against the fierce Indians, deadly beasts, and hostile elements. If Nate and his friend Shakespeare McNair couldn’t save them, the young adventurers would suffer unimaginable pain before facing certain death.

This, the second Wilderness Giant Edition, fits chronologically after book number fourteen in the regular series, and proves to be a book filled with danger, be it from Indians or nature. One of the most memorable scenes being when the travellers are caught in the middle of a buffalo stampede.

This is a book packed with action and incident that explores the way different types of people view each other, such as the so called civilized and those who live in the wild, and the differences in the way of life of those of different skin colour.

The book is filled with colourful and memorable characters, strong and weak in both sexes. One of my favourites has to be the artist, Eric Nash, who undergoes many changes throughout the course of the story. It’s also his eagerness to learn and to run before he can walk that nearly sees the death of many of the group on numerous occasions.

As well as lots of exciting confrontations the book also contains some terrific dialogue, often witty, often sarcastic, usually coming from Shakespeare McNair as he manages to baffles just about everyone at some point with his quotes from the Bard.

The book ends with the Kings and Shakespeare many miles from their homes and the author (David Robbins) adds a historical note that explains what happens to other characters.

Note: Those who are new to this series might like to know that the third Giant Edition: Prairie Blood, which date wise was published after book #19, was originally intended to be published directly after Season of the Warrior, and covers the Kings and Shakespeare’s journey home. Due to something that happens in Prairie Blood, that proves to be a major event in the King’s life, I’d suggest you read it before you read book #15 in the regular series.


DavidRobbinsFanClub said...

Steve, Thank you for the review. It brought back memories. It was great doing the Giants as I got to expand on the characters and the themes. When I was younger, I didn't realize that my passion for the Bard would one day translate into a fun character. :) David

David Cranmer said...

I bought several Wilderness books a few weeks ago and am looking forward to reading them.

Fine review, Steve.