to_the_far_blue_mountains_9780553276886I read all of Louis L’Amour’s novels when I was a teenager and loved them. Now that they are on Kindle, I’ve been picking them up here and there. I was reading them early enough that Bantam started marketing the Sackett books as a series and numbering them. I had some that were numbered and some that weren’t depending on when I bought the book.

I, like many other people, enjoyed the storied of a family that believed in the strength of family no matter how far apart you were. I remember one novel where one of the Sacketts was cornered and holding out against a large number of bad guys. His position was strong and he could hold them off, but he knew he couldn’t win the fight. Then other scenes in the book showed Sacketts all over the west as they heard a story about a many named Sackett in trouble. No matter their walk of life, they dropped what they were doing and set off to help their kin.

Most of the Sackett novels are set in the old west, but as the family gained popularity, L’Amour began to explore the family tree and why the Sacketts had such strong family ties.

Sackett’s Land and To the Far Blue Mountains tell the story of the first Sackett in America. Sackett’s Land brought Barnabas Sackett to America. To the Far Blue Mountains explored how Barnabas established himself.

To the Far Blue Mountains was not my favorite Sackett novel (that would Jubal Sackett and The Daybreakers), but it’s a necessary book for any L’Amour fan. The book has L’Amour’s great sense of detail and storytelling skill, but it seems unfinished.

Part of the reason is that two-thirds of the Sackett series are in the Old West while five books cover the family’s history before then. You don’t get as familiar with the characters as you do with the westerns.

L’Amour’s web site says that he had intended to write another seven or

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James Rada, Jr. and Louis L’Amour in Minneapolis, MN, in 1984

eight Sackett novels, including ones that covered the Sacketts in the Revolutionary War and Civil War. I would have loved to have read these books.

Read Sackett’s Land and To the Far Blue Mountains together. They are considered the first two books in the series. Then go on and read the others in the series. You’ll get a sense of the type of men and women it took to tame a wild land and thrive. They may not have been a wealthy family, but they were a strong family and exemplified the best in Americans.

 

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