Ralph Compton- The Chisholm Trail (St. Martin’s Press 1993) 3.5 Stars
Ten Chisholm, son of the famous trader Jesse Chisholm, wants make money and make a name for himself. After a visit to New Orleans he gets involved in a messy situation with a smuggler and his band of criminals. One man has promised his daughter the head of the smuggling ring to pay off his debts, but he was not counting on his daughter becoming smitten by Ten Chisholm. Now Ten must free her and risk his life to make her his bride, after which he plans to round up a bunch of Texas Longhorns to form a new trail through Kansas. His trip will be dangerous, requiring enough grit to fight outlaws, Comanche warriors, flooding rivers.
At first I was very impressed by this novel as it had broken form the mould the other two in this series had set. Different characters with different problems made it more interesting and refreshing, but then in the last half of the book it started to become just like the others again. The situations were not always believable or likely and the results were also questionable. I am not sure that fighting some of the old Indian warriors would have been so easy, nor am I sure that they could have fought through so much with so little casualties compared to the opposing forces casualties. When reading I like to see realism and plausibility, something I felt was missing at times. That being said I did enjoy most of the book and thought that the characters were very well-done and seem to come to life off of every page and into whatever room I was reading in. The plot was an intriguing one, I just think that a little of the execution could use work. Overall a very good read for anyone who loves westerns.
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