The Raiders: Sons of Texas

Elmer Kelton, Author . Forge $24.95 (284p) ISBN 978-0-7653-1525-0

The second volume of this prolific western writer's Sons of Texas trilogy (after Sons of Texas ) is a colorful, if action-deficient, lesson in Texas history 1825–1826. Along with brothers Michael and Andrew Lewis, most of the characters from the first novel return and not much about them has changed. Michael has a family now, but is just as restless as in the first book; Andrew is still the steady one, a bachelor who longs for a wife. Owning adjacent farms in Mexican territory, the Lewises are trying to settle as legal immigrants, alongside hundreds of other Americans allowed by the Mexican government to live there. As Michael and Andrew struggle to farm Texas's forbidding terrain, they become involved in an Indian raid, rekindle a long-standing family feud and get tangled up in the complex comedy of the Fredonian Rebellion, "the earliest glimmering of the Texas revolution against Mexico." Fans may grow frustrated as this horse opera unfolds largely without gunplay—even the bad guys are reluctant to pull the trigger—but Kelton masterfully portrays the toughness of frontier life and the racial, cultural and political tension between Mexicans and Americans that eventually led to open rebellion. The final volume in this trilogy will include the battle of the Alamo; hopefully, there the action and suspense will catch up with the period detail. (July)

Reviewed on: 02/13/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006
Mass Market Paperbound - 282 pages - 978-0-7653-4898-2
Hardcover - 477 pages - 978-0-7862-8791-8
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-7653-8302-0
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