Plot: The author’s admitted “Hollywoodization” of Beckwourth’s life makes a detailed history accessible to a more casual readership.
Prose/Style: Ney’s prose is careful and engaging. While some odd turns of phrase may give some readers moments of pause, Ney keeps the pace fresh with plenty of action.
Originality: Ney’s intimate portrait of Beckwourth is as tender as it is multi-faceted. The author vividly captures the struggles of life in the 1820s American West.
Character Development/Execution: While Beckwourth is an engaging protagonist, Ney’s Indigenous characters can sometimes come across as stiff, their dialogue bordering on caricature. This becomes a question of cultural sensitivity.
Blurb: This daring historical novel chronicles the life and times of James Beckwourth. Set in the American West in the 1820s, Ney’s atmospheric writing captures something of the life of one of America’s Black heroes.
Date Submitted: May 09, 2021