Ralph Compton- The Western Trail (St. Martin’s Press 1992) 3.5 Stars
After driving a large herd of cattle into the Sweetwater Valley in Wyoming they decide to set up a ranch. First they must fight a railroad owner who does not want them to stay. The reasons behind this man’s animosity are unknown and when they find out the reason it will blow the top off of the Sweetwater Valley. The railroad baron does not intend for them to find out why he wants them gone and he is willing to have his hired guns kill to keep his secret. McCaleb and his bunch do not intend to leave and with the assistance of a tribe of Shoshoni and Buffalo Bill Cody they are going to stay and fight. IN the end it will be the last group standing takes the land.
It took me a little longer to get into The Western Trail than it did for The Goodnight Trail, when I did get into it though it did not fail to excite. It was a great all around western with many action scenes and tough men and women fighting to survive harsh conditions. The characters were wonderfully crafted by Compton and jumped off of every page. I also liked how once again Compton managed to throw in some well-known names from the era, like Buffalo Bill Cody and Grant. At times some of the scenes got to be a little repetitive through the course of the book, and were almost identical to the previous books scenes, only with some different characters and a change in venue. I get the feeling that after a while this series may get to be the same and may have the risk of becoming mundane. I hope that this is not the case, but that is my suspicion.
I recommend The Western Trail to western enthusiasts and Compton fans.
For more of my reviews check out my website, www.tonypeters.webs.com
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