Beyond the Stars: An Epic of the American West

David William Ross, Author
David William Ross, Author Simon & Schuster $19.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-70314-1
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
Subtitled ``An Epic of the American West,'' this well-written first novel offers many of the trappings one might expect: the stoic frontiersman raised by Indians, a pair of Easterners new to the land who are searching for a lost gold mine, a variety of rough and quick-tempered outcasts and ruffians, Indians at once brutal and magnificent. All of these characters and situations are artfully drawn and reinvented within the context of the story, however, and few who begin these pages will choose to turn away before learning the fates of those who live within them. Still, the real impact of the book lies in its depiction of the Plains Indians and the vast, savage land that shaped their destiny. Ross takes the reader into the minds of various chieftains, medicine men and warriors of the Crow, Sioux, Blackfeet and other tribes as they struggle desperately to survive the coming of the white man to the Dakotas, and reveals how and why they lived and fought as they did. The result is a sprawling and seemingly authentic portrait of people and cultures about to be swept away by the tide of history. Even a perhaps too convenient ending does not mar this engrossing saga. (May)
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