*ARC received from publisher for an honest opinion
WOW! Lori Austin really delivers in this novel! I was so impressed with
her writing and her talent for portraying the Wild West. Even though I
am not a historian I thought she really depicted the nit and gritty
about life in the Wild West. She also depicted both horrors of the
savagery from the U.S. army and also from the Cheyenne and the Sioux.
Now on to the characters. “Rose Varner needs a man…”this is a fantastic
opening to Rose. First, Rose is fierce! I had to catch my breath with
her. One of the reasons that Luke Phelan decides to help her is because
he is so impressed with her courage and wow is she courageous. In one
of many scenes, she comes face to face with a Sioux Indian that is ready
to scalp her! She does not back down!! I’m glad that Lori Austen
decided to name this book “The Lone Warrior” but I think she should have
add women warrior as well. Ok, so besides coming face-to-face with a
Sioux that wants to scalp her, she also has to fight for her
life-several times! This women does not back down. Granted she is
looking for her three year old daughter and is determined to find her,
but she has nerves of steel. There is one part where Luke has to sew
her stitches on her head and she doesn’t whine or utter one word of
pain. There is also a part where she is covered in blood and instead of
stopping and cleaning herself up she puts a hat on and jumps on top of
her horse. I mean, seriously??!! I bow to Lori Austin, Rose is a force
to reckon with!
Luke Phelan is also a terrific character. He made a promise to her, he
would help her find her daughter Lily and get her from the Cheyenne.
The author really portray all parts of his personality. He is a
hero/traitor/ ghost/soldier/fighter/ crazy… You name it! Luke has been
through many trials as a soldier and then as a prisoner to the Cheyenne
though his quick intelligence and survival he is able to become one with
them and finally earn his freedom. He is very tortured and reading
about his ordeal was not easy. Hats off again to Ms. Austin she does
not romanticize any aspect of what Luke with through as a soldier and as
a prison. One of Luke’s struggles, besides the wanted poster with is
face on and being wanted by both the U.S. army and the Cheyenne and
Sioux he also has to learn to forgive himself and come to peace with his
past. Luke is incredibly courageous and also very caring and
protective of Rose.
You cannot go wrong with this story. There are so many great lessons to
learn about struggle and courage. Both Luke and Rose are equally
matched. They are a perfect combination of strength, bravery and
courage. I would re-read and recommend this great adventure!