A fantasy novel dressed in cowboy boots, this latest effort by Snyder nonetheless remains at heart a run-of-the-mill quest story. Following his mother's death, Michael McBride, the son of Irish immigrants, flees New York in 1878 and travels west, pursued by mysterious demons of Irish legend. Finding work as a ranch hand, Michael gains new skills and independence, all the while moving closer to a showdown with Red Cap, his demonic antagonist. At times entertaining, the plot nevertheless lacks surprises, and the characters that populate the Western setting, such as the half-Apache Jake Talking Boy and the woman-chasing cowboy Jim Delaney, lapse quickly into stereotype. Most damaging to the narrative, perhaps, is the fact that Michael wins the respect of his new companions too easily, succeeding at every step, and the resolution of the novel can be guessed at almost from the first page. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1994 Release date: 11/01/1994 Genre: Fiction
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