The Sky-liners (Sacketts #11) ★★★☆½

skyliners (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Sky-liners
Series: Sacketts #11
Author: Louis L’Amour
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Western
Pages: 208
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Flagan and his brother Galloway Sackett have returned from their adventures in The Sackett Brand and they’ve paid off their father’s debts. Now they’ve got to start all over and earn their own stake. In some no account little town they face down a gang of roughs who are intent on causing trouble for an Irish gypsy and his granddaughter. Said gypsy convinces them to take the granddaughter, Judith, to her father out west. They also take some of the finest horseflesh they’ve ever seen to help as breeding stock for Judith’s father. Well, the roughs, led by a man named Black Fletchen, don’t take kindly to this. Especially considering that Black was all set to marry Judith and take those horses for himself.

Flagan and Galloway and Judith all headout West, expecting trouble and they find it. Fletchen kills the gypsy, goes full on outlaw by rustling a herd of cattle, killing the owners son and begins hunting the Sackett brothers. When Flagan and company do reach Judith’s father, it is only to find that Black has already taken over the ranch and the father is being held captive.

Flagan and Galloway have hooked up with the cowboys whose herd was stolen, so when they plan on facing down the Fletchens, they’re not alone. However, Black sets a clever trap and gets Flagan, Galloway and Judith pretty much trapped on a mountain side. There is a big showdown ranging across the mountains in a thunderstorm. Fletchen gets his, Flagan gets shot and ends up being taken care of by Judith.

The book ends with it looking like Flagan and Judith will be getting married and Flagan taking on the ranch to help her father.

 

My Thoughts:

Heck, L’Amour has a pattern that he writes from. It works. So don’t expect anything new in any of these books and you’re all set.

For all that every single main character in each Sackett book complains about how they aren’t handsome like “Relative X” and don’t know how to talk to women, these Sackett boys sure don’t seem to have any problems picking themselves up some wives. Of course, it usually takes getting shot in some desperate battle in the worst of weather, after having ridden, walked and generally existed for 100’s of miles in even worse conditions. But still.

I like this book a lot better than the previous one. I think that comes down to having new characters. Since L’Amour writes more “archetypes” than actual characters, after a while any particular character begins to show their weakness as a growing, evolving person. The easiest way to deal with that is to constantly switch to new characters and new circumstances. That might come across as a criticism, but that is only if you are looking for deep characterization in your western. L’Amour made no bones that he was a storyteller. The characters come second. It is a way of telling a story that isn’t nearly as popular nowadays as it used to be. I think a lot of it has to do with culture shift more than anything.

The other thing I noticed is the weight of the pistols. I think it was in this book that it is mentioned that the character’s pistol weighed over 2 pounds. If not in this book, then definitely in another. Anyway, that is HEAVY! My little Sig P938, loaded with 7 rounds, weighs in at around 17ounces (16 oz to a lb for you furrenners!). So add some bullets to those old guns and you’re talking close to 3lbs. I can’t imagine doing a fast draw with something that big and heavy. I guess it’s a good thing I’m not a gunslinger, hahahahaa.

Bookstooge Sackett I am not.

★★★☆½

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

 

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Sackett Brand (Sacketts #10) ★★★☆☆

sackettbrand (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Sackett Brand
Series: Sacketts #10
Author: Louis L’Amour
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Western
Pages: 160
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

William Tell Sackett and his new bride Ange are making a start of it. With the gold they had, they bought enough supplies to start a new life in the West with cattle. When Tell goes ahead to scout, he’s shot and falls into a river. He escapes those hunting him and makes his way back to where Ange had the wagons. There is no trace of the wagons OR Ange.

Tell survives and hunts down information after finding Ange’s body. A rancher, co-owner of the Lazy A, is responsible. Nobody knows that he killed Ange and he must kill Tell to keep his secret, for NO one will work for a man who kills a woman. Said rancher hires a large group of gunfighters under the claim that Tell tried to kill him.

The word goes out that a Sackett is being hunted. Other Sacketts come a running and Tell only has to survive until they arrive. Of course, he has to survive 40 gunfighters who are all hunting him.

He survives and the other Sacketts take down the gunfighters. The book ends with Tell surrounded by his family.

 

My Thoughts:

Gotta admit, it took me by surprise when L’Amour had Ange killed. I did not see it coming, especially so early. It really affected how I read the rest of the book. While it gave Tell a real motive to survive and for revenge, L’Amour’s writing of Ange’s death probably affected me more than it did Tell.

This was a very quick read and it was even quicker given certain stock phrases and ideas that L’Amour uses in almost every book of his. You don’t read these for originality at all but to see the Right prevail and the Wrong fail. Truth and Justice. Sometimes you need to read that those Ideals actually do exist and that there are men willing to bear the burden of being responsible for them. I read this in about 2-3hrs, so it was quick.

There just isn’t much else to say. These reviews of the Sacketts are more about getting the synopsis so when I look back in 10-15 years I don’t have to feel like I need to read these again.

★★★☆☆

bookstooge

 

Mojave Crossing (Sacketts #9) ★★★☆☆

mojavecrossing (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Mojave Crossing
Series: Sacketts #9
Author: Louis L’Amour
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Western
Pages: 160
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Tell Sackett has a bagful of gold and some unknown people on his trail. In some little town he helps out a damsel in distress and ends up shot, robbed and without water in the Mojave Desert.

Being a Sackett, that’s not enough to kill him. So he sets out after his assailaints. He catches up with the Damsel in Distress and finds out there is a lot more to her than he first thought. He gets involved with an old Mexican Pirate who fought his granddaddy and tracks down the man who has his gold. Only to find that another Sackett is acting as his bodyguard.

But since blood is thicker than gold, both Sacketts do the right thing and lots of badguys die and they head off into the sunset.

 

My Thoughts:

This felt very disjointed. In the previous book Tell was all setup to get hitched and settle down and now in this book he’s out and about and getting involved with another woman? It kind of gets explained, but at first I didn’t even realize I was reading about the same character as in Sackett.

Everything felt that little bit off for the whole book so it was hard to get into the flow of things like the previous books. I would almost say that this was a “commitment” book on L’Amour’s part to fulfill a publishing contract more than an actual story. It just didn’t have that same feel. I know that’s not very helpful to anyone who hasn’t read it but that’s my take away from it.

I hope the next one is a little more of what I expect.

★★★☆☆

bookstooge

 

Sackett (Sacketts #8) ★★★☆ ½

sackett (Custom)

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Librarything & Tumblr by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Sackett
Series: Sacketts #8
Author: Louis L’Amour
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Western
Pages: 160
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

William “Tell” Sackett decides that since his younger brothers are so successful that he needs to do something important too. So he finds a hidden valley with a gold mine and a beautiful lost woman.

Gets hunted by golddiggers, some gunslingers out for revenge for their dead brother and a banker. Now THAT is scary! Just imagine the banker from The Bank of Evil in Despicable Me.

The beautiful woman rejects him because he’s such a “savage killer”. Then he rescues her again, kills most of the badguys, gets shot and hooks up with the beautiful woman, who sees the error of her liberal, big city, gun hating ways.

Oh, if only more stories had that kind of happy ending.

 

My Thoughts:

Besides Ride the River, this was the most enjoyable Sackett story yet. It is also one of the simplest and straight forward ones as well. As well as eye rollingly western tropish. But that is WHY you read L’Amour.

When I married Mrs Bookstooge, if I had known that all I needed to do to get her to agree to me owning a gun was rescue her from a mountain, in a blizzard while being chased by desperadoes, well, that would have totally changed the equation. And doing it while carrying a wounded man who had tried to kill me? Psshawwww! But obviously, real life isn’t that simple. I had to prove to her that her wishes came first for 9 years.

Honestly, I don’t think that Tell Sackett was as big a man as me! I’d like to see him put up with some of the people I have. Of course, he’d probably just shoot them and have done. Ahh, the good old days

* huge grin *

★★★☆ ½

bookstooge

 

  1. Sackett’s Land (Book 1)
  2. To the Far Blue Mountains (Book 2)
  3. The Warrior’s Path (Book 3)
  4. Jubal Sackett (Book 4)
  5. Ride the River (Book 5)
  6. The Daybreakers (Book 6)
  7. Lando (Book 7)

 

Lando (Sacketts #7) ★★★★☆

lando

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Lando
Series: Sacketts #7
Author: Louis L’Amour
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Western
Pages: 176
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Lando Sackett was given into the care of a neighbor when his mother died and his father just took off. Lando ended up taking off and living off the land and eventually calls out the man who stole his inheritance.

He heads out West with a tinker Gypsy, finds out his uncles are on the trail to kill him (for the sin of his father daring to marry their sister), comes across the fact that his father knew where a sunken treasure ship is and finds out that his dad isn’t dead and always meant to return but couldn’t, due to being in a mexican prison.

Lando saves the town from the gambler and is headed out West again.

The End (sunset and all)

 

My Thoughts:

L’Amour definitely has a thing for skipping huge chunks of time. Lando spends 6 years in the mexican prison and that time and his rescue take about 3 pages. He is skipping from peak to peak in the story and only gives us details when it suits the story he wants to tell. A very different style than what I’m used to in SFF.

I had read this in highschool but the only thing I remembered was the prizefight at the end. But my goodness, it was worth remembering. A boxing fight where the crowd is under the control of the gambler and using dirty tricks against Lando. A rifleman trying to shoot him from a window. His Ranger friends showing up and making things even. The joy, sweat, blood and tears of one man fighting another. This fight is why I gave this book 4 stars instead of 3.5.

The rest of the book was pretty good too. Showed how greed and pride could destroy men from the inside and how obsession could take over and ruin a man from living a quiet, satisfying life. A great Western that shows Rugged American Individualism at its best.

To close, the cover. While this edition does a decent job of showing the prizefight at the end, the guy just doesn’t look like Lando. THIS cover does a much better job:

lando2Now that is a MUSTACHE!

 

 

★★★★☆

bookstooge

 

  1. Sackett’s Land (Book 1)
  2. To the Far Blue Mountains (Book 2)
  3. The Warrior’s Path (Book 3)
  4. Jubal Sackett (Book 4)
  5. Ride the River (Book 5)
  6. The Daybreakers (Book 6)

 

The Daybreakers (Sacketts #6) ★★★☆ ½

daybreakers (Custom)

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Daybreakers
Series: Sacketts #6
Author: Louis L’Amour
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Western
Pages: 224
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Tyrel and Orrin Sackett leave the hills of Kentucky/whatever after killing a nogood scum. Joining a cattle herder, both young men begin the process of growing up and becoming respectable men. After learning how to herd cows, they set out to create their own herd. During this time they come across a mexican Don and his granddaughter and a huckster and his daughter from New England. Ty and Orrin eventually become lawman and mayor. When Orrin, who is now married to the blonde new englander runs for state senate, her father hires killers to take out Orrin to put his own man in power. It is up to Ty to keep his brother’s hands clean protect him and rescue the Don’s granddaughter.

Just a day’s work for a Sackett.

 

My Thoughts:

I mainly remember this from the movie, The Sacketts, starring Tom Selleck and Sam Elliot. You know what, there really is nobody who more fits the image of the rough and tough Sackett brothers than those two. Those guys are who I think of when it comes to your generic Western characters.

Anyway, this book covers a good amount of time. Enough for both boys to go from cowpunchers to established politician and lawman. Don’t blink or you’ll miss a couple of months. Part of the disconnect is that the cattle drives take months and months but only take a couple of paragraphs.

There is a lot of fighting, like you’d expect in a western. A couple of one on one shootouts, lots of Ty facing down various men, some killers, some just hardheads who needed a bit of fear put into their lives to give them perspective. The swell of civilization westward seems to happen quickly as well, but much like what we see happening on the internet today with torrent and sharing sites, it was inevitable. The speed at which humanity can communicate determines how fast things will change to accommodate the greatest number.

It was also very interesting to see L’Amour characterize someone from New England. And uptight scammer. It made me laugh because the kind of person from New England who couldn’t stay in New England would be exactly that. Spot on.

★★★☆ ½

bookstooge

 

  1. Sackett’s Land (Book 1)
  2. To the Far Blue Mountains (Book 2)
  3. The Warrior’s Path (Book 3)
  4. Jubal Sackett (Book 4)
  5. Ride the River (Book 5)

Ride the River (Sacketts #5) ★★★☆ ½

75d6589d2842f815354456d2b9986798

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

 
Title:         Ride the River
Series:      Sacketts #5
Author:    Louis L’Amour
Rating:     3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre:     Western
Pages:      192
Format:   Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Echo Sackett, the youngest descendant of Kin Sackett, must travel to Philadelphia to sign some papers upon which she will get $3000. All is not as it seems through and greed and corruption must run their course.

Echo gets her inheritance, but it is a long way back to the hills of Tennesee and the corrupt lawyer has hired thugs and murderers to get that money back. Being a Sackett, Echo isn’t too worried. She knows the land, she has a gun and she has a mission. With a little help from a Chantry [another family associated with the Sacketts], Echo shows that the Sackett blood hasn’t thinned one bit. And now that the Sacketts have spread all over [it is 200 years since the last book], Family Loyalty rears its head and when one Sackett is in trouble, the rest come running.

 

My Thoughts:

I have been waiting for this book for 5 books. This is a Western, Sackett book. Echo is the fiercely determined, independent main character of the story. I really enjoyed reading her story.

Being a woman, L’Amour doesn’t have her get into brutal fistfights with some other characters, but that is what the Chantry was for. As well as a possible romantic angle. It all worked pretty well.

The sense of urgency, of running, of having to make it to “home” to be safe, came through loud and clear. Echo might have had a gun and known how to use it, but she couldn’t just shoot everyone and lollygag her way home. And since she’s the tracker and the shooter, she’s the one who must stay safe.

This was what I wanted in a Sackett book. Urgency, guns, chivalry, evil characters, people defending themselves [!!!] and everyone taking responsibility for their actions, good or bad.

I’ve added the cover of the edition I read, but here are a couple more that have existed through the years. From the redneck hillbilly look to the more modern characterless look, you can really see how the story has changed its face to appeal to the readers. Makes me wonder about us readers through if that first cover really sold the book?

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75d6589d2842f815354456d2b9986798

ride-the-river

 

★★★☆ ½

bookstooge

  1. Review of Book 4