Eighteen years have passed since Sam Morgan came West from Pennsylvania and learned the perilous business of trapping in the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains. Trapping with the explorers who would become legends.
Now, in 1840, he seems to face a bleak future. The fur trade has played out, and he must find other means of making a living. Sam decides to return to California with his mixed-blood daughter, Esperanza, and start a new life. For, only in California will they be accepted.
The great golden land represents a bitter memory — his beloved Crow Indian wife Meadowlark died there in childbirth — but friends convince him that his destiny lies on the Pacific shore.
Meadowlark’s uncle, Flat Dog, his family, and Hannibal MacKye, the half-Delaware mountain man, join Sam and Esperanza for the journey west, where they hope to trade for a herd of Appaloosa horses to sell at a profit in California.
At Fort Hall on the Oregon Trail, Sam and his people encounter a terrified woman, Lei Palua, who has escaped the clutches of a psychopath called Kanaka Boy, whose gang of killers and rapists has been terrifying Indian villages in the Northwest.
Sam Morgan and his people take Lei Palua under their wing unaware that her one-time lover and now bloodthirsty nemesis dogs her trail, vowing to kill her and all who stand in his way.
“This is the sixth and best in Blevins’s exciting Rendezvous series (following A Long and Winding Road) featuring mountain man Sam Morgan. It’s 1840 and Sam, seeing the end of his beloved fur trade, decides to head for California and a settled life with his friend, Hannibal, and Sam’s daughter, Esperanza, raised on the Crow reservation since her mother died in childbirth.
“The three of them, along with a party of friends and Indian relatives, endure harsh weather and forbidding terrain on their journey from the Wyoming territory to the coast, but the situation goes from bad to worse after they find and care for a badly injured woman, Lei Palua, who has escaped from a psychopathic gang whose leader, Kanaka Boy, vows to get her back.
“When Sam and his group are bushwhacked, their herd of horses stolen and Esperanza kidnapped by Kanaka Boy, Sam embarks in a rage-filled orgy of bloody violence. Blevins, a masterful storyteller, really piles on the action which is fast-paced and filled with the details of frontier life, the fur trade and Indian lore authentic.” – Publisher’s Weekly
“The popular Rendezvous series continues with its sixth installment, this one set in 1840, 12 years since A Long and Winding Road (2007). Sam Morgan is still a trapper, but he’s not sure for how much longer, as the fur trade is waning. Faced with the daunting task of finding a new way of life for himself and his daughter, Sam decides to return to California by way of the Oregon Trail.
“Along the way, he encounters a woman who claims she’s escaped from her kidnapper, the vicious Kanaka Boy, based on a real character. Sam promises to protect the woman, but he doesn’t know that he may have vowed to give his own life to save hers.
“Fans of the Rendezvous series, it need hardly be said, will enjoy this novel; however, through some clever storytelling and the seamless insertion of important background information, Blevins has made sure that readers unfamiliar with the series can follow it, too. This is one of those books that is more about its characters than it is about gunplay, although there are some exciting action scenes.” —David Pitt, Booklist
“The glory years of frontier life, fresh and rich.” —Kirkus Reviews on Beauty for Ashes
“Blevins possesses a rare skill in masterfully telling a story-to-paper. He is a true storyteller in the tradition of Native people.” —Lee Francis, Associate Prof. of Native American Studies, University of New Mexico
“Final novel, how the story of adventure in the west comes to a close… A great story of sacrifice and love.
“As a young man Sam Morgan set out on the advice of a friend, Hannibal to follow his dreams, and in the previous volumes he became trader, a traper, an adventurer, he has done a sundance to make up for a mistake, and fought in a war for his new people. Only to lose his wife in childbirth and his daughter to her family.
“In this volume I have come to love this strong character, and want to learn more of the story. During this story, Sam has reconnected with his daughter now a young woman of 15, and finding that the trapper industry dying out he is going to Monterey Bay and beginning a new life in horse trading. Learn about your American history, about fur trappers, trade men and the Native Plains Americans in this series.” — reececo331
“Good story – liked the way it was written. This book was one of a series. There are 6 of them, all of which I bought. Very good stories, well written.” — retiredinwonderland, Yellowstone Nat. Park
“A glorious climax. This final title brings the RENDEZVOUS series to a glorious climax. The entire series, by Win Blevins, a greatly respected writer about the West, follows the adventures of trapper Sam Morgan, who traveled and lived all over the West when very few white men ventured into that Indian country.
“Sam marries a Crow woman, has Indian children, and becomes as much red as white. In this book he is faced with the end of the fur trade era and the need to find a place for his Indian family to live companionably with neighbors of different colors.
“He decides on California, which was then still part of Mexico. But he does not count on the epic adventures required to get there and get settled. The book features a deliciously nasty villain and a supremely satisfying ending.” — Meg Matthews, Boston, MA