Sackett’s Land (Book #1 of The Sackett’s) by Louis L’Amour: 5*****

Our daughter just moved to Denver, Colorado, And so I decided to look at books that dealt with Colorado history. Now, obviously there are lots of academic texts out there,  but I like to read some historical fiction if possible and I came to a listing that said the Sackett series was one of the best you could find. So I decided to give this a try. I never read any books by Louis L’Amour despite having a fondness for the West. I did not know what to expect and therefore I was most pleasantly surprised by the first book of this series, Sackett’s Land. My first surprise began on the first page of the book which is set in 1599! That certainly is not Colorado, instead L’Amour has decided to give us a saga of this family which begins with Barnabas Sackett and his journey to America, along with all the experiences he had trying to leave England, being transported to America, while in America and then when he returned to England. And it’s all done within 190 pages! Talk about a fast paced book, a book that is nonstop action and adventure, this is that book!

There is so much action involved that it is impossible for any review to really get into the details, but suffice it to say that Barnabas is a noble person who lives in the marshlands of England, who’s raised by a father who was a soldier and passed on that knowledge, as well as much wisdom, to his son and it is that which guides Barnabas throughout this book. This entire adventure begins because a lady in a carriage smiles at him and asked him for a drink of water from the local fountain. He obliges her and then he is struck from behind by the evil heir of a wealthy nobleman. Barnabas fights back, humiliates that gentleman and now Barnabas’s fortunes are changed forever.

Eventually he is tracked down in London while on the way to board a boat to take him to America, and after being waylaid he is placed upon a pirate ship. Off the coast of America, Barnabas and two others are able to escape and luckily they were able to take with them items which they could trade with the Indians. It is a little bit unbelievable to put it mildly, but it is so much fun. All of the action and excitement just goes from page to page, chapter to chapter, and as I said it is a nonstop action filled romp which we are treated to. And one that never loses that pacing,  always delivers decent plots, good characters and even a little bit of romance. Barnabas finds friends everywhere and in some of the most unlikely places and that’s what makes him an interesting person. He looks beyond the outer facade of people and is able to lead good  men with him in America and in England.

There are at least 18 books in this saga and I had thought I would be spending all my time learning about the West with a story that contained Cowboys, Indians, robbers, heroes and villains of our Wild West era, but instead we begin in England, in 1599 and we find the patriarch of the Sackett clan who’s moral character will most likely follow us through the entire series. If you have never read any of L’Amour’s  works you’re in for a treat. This book took me approximately 2 days to read and you get to a point where you can’t put it down, as the story flows freely, evenly and suspensfully. If you want a great literary effort, you might want to read Charles Dickens if you want and action adventure then Louis L’Amour has got it all here for you with Sackett’s Land. I loved this book and have already downloaded Book 2!

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