After making a harrowing 700-mile journey, alone and on foot, from the Sweetwater River in Wyoming to Fort Atkinson on the Missouri River, and finding a home in the fur trade, young Sam Morgan is becoming a solid man.
Followed closely by Coy, his coyote pup, and trapping with a brigade of mountain men, Sam seeks more than furs and wealth. He is searching for the love of his life, the Crow Indian woman Meadowlark. With his companions—the French-Canadian Gideon Dubois, the mulatto Jim Beckwourth, and the Pawnee Third Wing—he heads for the Wind River country and the village of Meadowlark’s people.
Trapping beaver was dollars and adventure for mountain men in the Rocky Mountain West of the 1820s—the luxuriant, sought-after pelts could make a man rich. But it was a dangerous way to make a living: winter blizzards, hostile Indians, sickness, and starvation lurked at every point of the compass. Only a special brand of person could survive it all.
After making a harrowing 700-mile journey, alone and on foot, from the Sweetwater River in Wyoming to Fort Atkinson on the Missouri River, and finding a home in the fur trade,Sam Morgan is becoming a solid young man. Followed closely by Coy, his coyote pup, and trapping with a brigade of mountain men, Sam seeks more than furs and wealth.
He is searching for the love of his life, the Crow Indian woman Meadowlark. With his companions—the French-Canadian Gideon Dubois, the mulatto Jim Beckwourth, and the Pawnee Third Wing—he heads for the Wind River country and the village of Meadowlark’s people.
Sam is put to every test in his journey to the Crow village: fights with Pawnee, Lakota and Blackfeet, captivity and escape from a Sioux camp, buffalo hunts, and the distrust of Meadowlark’s family and tribe. He endures the sweat lodge and Sun Dance ceremonies that test his beliefs and self-confidence, and concocts a last-ditch, daring, and foolhardy scheme to win Meadowlark’s hand.
For all its page-turning action, Beauty for Ashes is the unforgettable story of a boy who becomes a man by necessity in the cruel, beautiful, unexplored wilderness of the Old West.
Author Reviews “Win Blevins has long since won his place among the West’s very best.” – Tony Hillerman Professional Reviews
“Blevins’s lively fur-trading tales of the American West continue with this rousing entry in the Rendezvous series. In the early 1820s, white-haired 19-year-old Sam Morgan departs his native Pennsylvania hometown for the second time after returning from adventures in the West as a trapper. His homecoming was marred by family squabbling, and a disenchanted Sam sets out again promising never to return. He’s on a mission of love to find Meadowlark, a virginal Indian maiden he left behind two years before.
“Upon reaching Meadowlark’s village, Sam presents her with gifts and their reunion is joyous. But Sam’s battle to keep her has just begun, and he struggles to learn to live in an alien culture. Undaunted by failure in a bow-and-arrow contest, he proposes to Meadowlark. But on a trapping excursion with Indian friends, Sam’s group is violently ambushed by Lakotas, and Sam is seized and stripped of his possessions.
“He manages to escape, but now he has nothing to offer Meadowlark, who has since become otherwise engaged. A true willingness to absorb Crow family customs pays off with a happy ending. Sam’s adventures are boyishly uncomplicated and vibrant, making this a rousing installment in a fine epic of the American frontier.” – Publisher’s Weekly
“The glory years of frontier life, fresh and rich.” —Kirkus Reviews “An entertaining, vivid portrait of frontier America as seen through the eyes of an impressionable youth.” — Booklist “Rendezvous is a classic series that will be on college reading lists in history classes studying the fur trading era.” – ROUNDUP Magazine Reader Reviews
“Win Blevins writes authentically and brings such raw emotion to his characters. This is the second book of Blevins that I’ve read and he does not disappoint. Beauty for Ashes is the story of Old West trappers who struggle in the harsh environment of a new land. More than that, it is the story of triumph over pain and loss. Another great read!” — By Jeanette Raleigh on November 10, 2010
“This is a gorgeous love story between a white man and a Crow woman. Great emotional depth and wonderful depiction of Crow culture. I’m going to get the first book in this series right away.” — Suzie Wright
“I Love Interracial Love Stories, especially during the Fur Trade era. This was the first western book I have ever read. I have the first one in the series, So Wild a dream, and the third one, Dancing with the Golden Bear. So far the second one is the best one… — Leroy A. Peters