This 1800s New Mexico Territory range war tale includes barbed wire, rustlers, mustangers, rape, child abuse and unrequited love. The novel is unusual in that each chapter depicts a different protagonist.
While these people know each other and are in some way involved in the story, none of them takes over as the main character. As a consequence, the poor reader never finds one person for whom to cheer. Luckey’s expertise in horseflesh is obvious, but wild horse roundups alone are not enough to overcome the lack of time-tested mechanics necessary in creating a true novel. The constant changes in point of view end in a meandering collection of short stories that leave too many questions unanswered. —Phyllis Morreale-de la Garza