Thursday, June 14, 2012

New Review: Shirl Henke’s NIGHT WIND’S WOMAN – Superb Storytelling in this Love Story from the Old West!

Let me just say at the outset that I am a HUGE fan of Shirl Henke, as you’ll see when she is a guest on my blog the last week of this month (June). CAPTURE THE SUN is a particular favorite of mine, and I’ve reviewed it on this blog. But all of her Western historical romances that I’ve read are excellent. This is no exception. It’s the first in her Santa Fe Trilogy (NIGHT WIND'S WOMAN, WHITE APACHE'S WOMAN and DEEP AS THE RIVERS) and tells a great tale.

Set in 1787 in the north of Mexico and New Mexico, it tells the story of a half Apache-half white renegade, Night Wind (his Apache name), who as a child was taken captive by the Spaniards and forced to work in the mines, virtually a death sentence. Keenly intelligent, he escaped and was raised and educated by the Catholic fathers. As an adult, he regained his Apache roots and works to free Indian prisoners and take vengeance on the Spanish conquerors. His hated enemy is an Irish mercenary who is now the Governor. Night Wind decides to take captive the son of the Governor and raise him as an Apache. Instead, by mistake he captures the Governor’s stepdaughter, Orlena Valdez, a beautiful golden-haired Spanish Castilian. Orlena is no shrinking noblewoman. She is educated, outspoken and willing to fight for fair treatment for the Indian prisoners. It never occurred to her that sneaking out in boys’ clothes to view a festival would land her in the arms of Night Wind.

In her well-researched, intricately detailed novel, Henke captures the feel of the Old West as she weaves a wonderful story of cruelty, injustice and revenge—revenge that is conquered by both goodness and love. She brings us into the time when Spain dominated not only Mexico, but what would one day become the Southwestern United States, a time when both the Apache and the Comanche were preyed upon and sought their revenge on the white man. As Henke recognizes in her Author’s Note, there were good and bad men among both camps.

I highly recommend this one!

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