Unbroke Horses, winner of the Triple Crown of Western literature awards: Western Heritage Wrangler Award, Will Rogers Medallion Award, and the Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award. It also won the Laramie Award, and the Eric Hoffer Award for literature, and was a finalist for the daVinci Eye Award for cover design.
An innocent 14-year-old preacher's son is kidnapped by three vile Civil War deserters. When turning-the-other-cheek fails to deter their cruelty, the boy resorts to his own violent behavior for survival, and the retribution he exacts from them casts him in a new struggle, this time for his soul. His redemption comes down to the wisdom of an old man and a small band of Unbroke Horses.
©2012 Dale B. Jackson (P)2015 Dale B. Jackson, Bob Rundell
I was a bit disappointed in this book for the first 80 percent, but the final part was pretty good. I'd like to give the book 2.5 stars, but I don't have that option.
Allow me to to expand on this. I found that the book jumped in with some ex-Confederate soldiers who just start murdering people in the most violent of manner. They meet up with a 3rd character who joins the group. The problem is, there's no real background to these characters, and they felt very one-dimensional. They had potential to have some great backstories, but the author missed his chance.
The protagonist had a bit more background, but again, not enough to really draw you in. In the last few chapters, and this is where it got better, the story focused on the healing of the young victim through his work with horses. This part of the story stood out, and it's because much more depth was given to the characters for the final bit.
The narration was solid, but nothing spectacular. Bob Rundell did some characters well, and others not-so-well. His cadence was bit slow, but that's in keeping with the western "slow drawl" style.
In the end, I can recommend this book if you're a Louis L'Amour fan or of the genre itself. For those looking for a more in depth cast of characters, such as in "All the Pretty Horses", then you may want to pass.
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