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The Blue Mustang (Leisure Historical Fiction)

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Starbuck had $25,000 in gold, a murderer on his heels, and one friend. His father was dead, his brothers were dead, and now young Starbuck faced his own death. Sego Lockhart was hard on his trail and all he had to do was ride up and start shooting. But in dangerous times a friend's devotion can mean the difference between living and dying, and Starbuck had a true friend -- Starbuck had $25,000 in gold, a murderer on his heels, and one friend. His father was dead, his brothers were dead, and now young Starbuck faced his own death. Sego Lockhart was hard on his trail and all he had to do was ride up and start shooting. But in dangerous times a friend's devotion can mean the difference between living and dying, and Starbuck had a true friend -- a blue mustang with the cunning of a fox and the heart of a mountain cat.


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Starbuck had $25,000 in gold, a murderer on his heels, and one friend. His father was dead, his brothers were dead, and now young Starbuck faced his own death. Sego Lockhart was hard on his trail and all he had to do was ride up and start shooting. But in dangerous times a friend's devotion can mean the difference between living and dying, and Starbuck had a true friend -- Starbuck had $25,000 in gold, a murderer on his heels, and one friend. His father was dead, his brothers were dead, and now young Starbuck faced his own death. Sego Lockhart was hard on his trail and all he had to do was ride up and start shooting. But in dangerous times a friend's devotion can mean the difference between living and dying, and Starbuck had a true friend -- a blue mustang with the cunning of a fox and the heart of a mountain cat.

30 review for The Blue Mustang (Leisure Historical Fiction)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Elisabeth

    The Blue Mustang is an excellent argument for a theory that I have about Westerns: that it's eminently possible to elevate a book above the perceived clichés of the genre merely by taking the effort to populate your story with living, breathing human characters instead of cardboard cutouts. What makes this book stand out beside other Westerns I've read is the messy reality and complexity of the young narrator's relationships with his formidable father and brothers and various other characters wh The Blue Mustang is an excellent argument for a theory that I have about Westerns: that it's eminently possible to elevate a book above the perceived clichés of the genre merely by taking the effort to populate your story with living, breathing human characters instead of cardboard cutouts. What makes this book stand out beside other Westerns I've read is the messy reality and complexity of the young narrator's relationships with his formidable father and brothers and various other characters who cross his path (Sheriff Blackburn and the unnamed doctor being standout examples), even minor ones. It elevates what is essentially a simple chase/escape plot into an honest-to-goodness work of fiction. (Kind of surprised this was never made into a movie, especially since I think some of the author's other books were.) That, and good writing. Will Henry has an undoubted way with words; the first-person narration crackles with lively similes and metaphors and wry humor, while still maintaining the naiveté and stubbornness of a seventeen-year-old boy who still has plenty to learn. Henry obviously has a fantastic knowledge of Texas history and geography as well, giving the reader a sense of time and place sometimes missing from Westerns that take place in a fictional, detached town or ranch (to be upfront about it, this is something I struggle with in my own writing, not being native to the West). A perfect book? No. It could easily have been a solid five-star read for me if not for a pretty generous serving of profanity, and a few rather crude/suggestive scenes involving the narrator's descriptions of or interactions with women. Those elements are just not my style. Still, I'd be willing to roll the dice on trying another book by this author, from having been impressed by his strength in writing style and characterization.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Charles A. Belisle

    Some western tales never get old Despite the fact that this story was written a long time ago it still provides an interesting, although somewhat predictable, western tale. A fun read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    JennericUser

    A few great passages, but overall just sloppy, shallow story-telling. The horse that seems so important from the title and back-blurb doesn’t even show up until the last quarter of the book and doesn’t play any major part in the story. The female love interest, May, goes from vehemently refusing the idea of being with Button because he is cowardly and inexperienced on one page to suddenly professing her love for him on the next without any logical character development to get from one to the oth A few great passages, but overall just sloppy, shallow story-telling. The horse that seems so important from the title and back-blurb doesn’t even show up until the last quarter of the book and doesn’t play any major part in the story. The female love interest, May, goes from vehemently refusing the idea of being with Button because he is cowardly and inexperienced on one page to suddenly professing her love for him on the next without any logical character development to get from one to the other. Loose ends abound and throughout Buttons many and well documented mistakes there are absolutely no consequences to them, all of which is shoved aside for a forced happy ending in the last few paragraphs of the book. Disappointing.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I really liked this story. 16 year old who was raised quite differently from his brothers suddenly finds himself in a fight with others over a ranch. While listening to the story using text-to-speech, one woman is referred to as a squaw. Years ago when I read lots of westerns, I had assumed that the word simply referred to a Native American woman. I found out sometime in the 90s that it was actually derogatory. So it kept bugging me every time I heard it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Linda Johns

    All I need to say, it is a book written by Will Henry! A great story, non-stop action. Not a full moment in the book. A classic Will Henry book, sit back and enjoy!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Charlene Waller

    Great old western Will Henry gives a realistic feel of the old west before fences. Love his portrayal of life in those unforgiving times.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sybal Janssen

    Coming from a cow town on the Colorado prairie, I grew up with wheat girl cowboys, and cow horses. Loving horses, I was either on a horse, or reading about horses. Will James's "Smokey the Cow Pony" was one of the first horse books I read. It was a treat to find Blue Mustang. It is a typical "coming of age" western story; one where the horse plays a major part. Will James wrote well, and he wrote with authenticity of cowboys and the horses they rode. In the part of the country were I grew up, bo Coming from a cow town on the Colorado prairie, I grew up with wheat girl cowboys, and cow horses. Loving horses, I was either on a horse, or reading about horses. Will James's "Smokey the Cow Pony" was one of the first horse books I read. It was a treat to find Blue Mustang. It is a typical "coming of age" western story; one where the horse plays a major part. Will James wrote well, and he wrote with authenticity of cowboys and the horses they rode. In the part of the country were I grew up, both "blue" horses, and the grullo dun were particularly valued. According to cowboy legend, these animals combined unusual intelligence with iron endurance.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Chuck

    I first read this book when I was in high school and thought it was great then. I've since bought both the paperback and the Nook version. It was the Nook version that I just finished reading. This is a typical "kid makes good after going through trials" novels told from the point of view of "Button" Starbuck, a ranch kid living in post-Civil War Texas. In trying to take delivery of a herd of cattle that their father bought on a hunch, Button loses his father and his two brothers but finds love I first read this book when I was in high school and thought it was great then. I've since bought both the paperback and the Nook version. It was the Nook version that I just finished reading. This is a typical "kid makes good after going through trials" novels told from the point of view of "Button" Starbuck, a ranch kid living in post-Civil War Texas. In trying to take delivery of a herd of cattle that their father bought on a hunch, Button loses his father and his two brothers but finds love and friendship from some unlikely sources. This is a western that is immortal...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carol and Gary Curtis

    Hard reading for me. The jargon was hard for me to follow at times. I had to push myself to finish.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ronald Kobilka

  11. 4 out of 5

    Beverly Scigliano

  12. 4 out of 5

    charles W. Flowers

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sylvia A. West

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jerry Walch

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mike Streeter

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lawrence Guy

  17. 5 out of 5

    Clyde M Cable

  18. 4 out of 5

    deb

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michael J. Harman

  20. 5 out of 5

    Trelma L Hale

  21. 5 out of 5

    MAH Hinton

  22. 5 out of 5

    larry lemoine smothers

  23. 5 out of 5

    Joe

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jack Tam

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jerry Boyer

  27. 5 out of 5

    thomas dye

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ray

  29. 5 out of 5

    Gert

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jerry Davis

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