Review: Louis L’Amour’s “The Sackett Saga, Book I: Sackett’s Land”

I love Louis L’Amour’s writings. Formulaic as some of them can be (he was writing in the era of the pulps, don’t forget. He himself tried to keep anyone from reprinting certain of his short stories he felt were less than stellar), there is a quality to them that I rarely find anywhere else. This is an element that some would dismiss as cliché or outdated–Louis L’Amour’s characters are heroes, through and through. When I was a boy, I learned honor and chivalry from Arthur and his knights, from Robin Hood, from all those sorts of tales, it’s true. But I also learned these things from the Louis L’Amour westerns my dad let me borrow. For that reason, as well as the sense of pure adventure and the lure of the American Frontier, I will always have a place in my cram-packed library for a Louis L’Amour book. Among L’Amour’s most enduring creations is the Sackett family, which he revisited over and over again. Word is that he had at least three more of these tales planned before he died, but unfortunately we’ll have to be satisfied with those dozen or so Sackett stories he finished.

The first of these Sackett tales chronologically (and that’s the order I’ll be following, so like it or lump it!) is Sackett’s Land. Barnabas Sackett is a young man living in England’s fens, circa 1599. He has been left by his father with a bit of land, most of it swamp, a sword, and the skills to use both. A windfall discovery of several ancient Roman coins sets him on the road to trading in the New World, but he will have to tread carefully, for he has made a powerfull enemy. A promise to his father, made on the field of battle, threatens the inheritance of a rising star in the English Court. If Barnabas does not tread carefully, he will find himself an outlaw. If he does not watch his back, he may find being an outlaw the least of his worries….

Content: Some violence, some mild language. Nothing too severe.

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2 Comments

Filed under Books, Novels, Reviews

2 responses to “Review: Louis L’Amour’s “The Sackett Saga, Book I: Sackett’s Land”

  1. Interesting. I have really come to appreciate a lot of the better pulp authors – and L’Amour was one of the best.

    Thanks for sharing.

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