An isolated military outpost in a remote region of the Department of the Upper Missouri. An embittered commandant who believes unkind fate kept him from fame and glory during the recent War of Secession. A band of starving Blackfeet too riddled with smallpox to withdraw, as ordered, to their reservation. A young mixed-breed army interpreter whose aging parents are with the Blackfeet tries to prevent a massacre-in-the-making; he's beaten and dragged to the guardhouse for the attempt. Thus the stage is set and principal characters in place for the opening pages of Echoes of Vengeance
what people are saying:
Stan Lynde, creator of the acclaimed Rick O'Shay cartoon strip and several great Western novels, had this to say of Roland's first Western:
Echoes of Vengeance is a well-imagined and compelling read. From Montana's high plains to the Natchez docks, from the cowtowns of Texas to the Oregon coast, Roland Cheek paints his young protagonist's odyssey with a deft hand, portraying the values of courage, principle, and friendship on a canvas as broad as America itself.
Midwest Book Review:
Echoes Of Vengeance by Roland Cheek is a tautly written novel of Jethro Spring, a young man who must suffer the consequences of dealing with the murderer of his parents. He's forced to travel through the Northern Rockies wilds and the Cherokee Strip, among other locales of natural beauty and splendor. Bounty hunters pursue him through Texas, until he must reach a final reckoning in this varied, flavorful and solidly written western saga.
Interesting and entertaining story that covers a lot of territory. The book description provided is a good summary of the first part of this story, which you will like and which sets the stage for the next two phases, which you will like just as much or more. The second phase is mostly about the protagonist's development as a boxer and contains plenty of detail about that process. The third phase blends the protagonist's boxing career with a friendship with a Chinese boxing master and leads to a rousing conclusion involving racial tensions in the early railroad construction days.
I met Roland Cheek a few weeks ago at the WWA (Western Writers Association) convention in Spokane, Washington. I write gardening books but I've just written several westerns myself and recently joined the WWA.
Roland Cheek, the author of Echoes of Vengeance, was assigned to be my "mentor" for the conference. He is a salty, interesting, unconventional man, a man's man, a strong, tough looking guy, a man who has been a big game hunting and fishing guide and cowboy his entire life. Roland strikes you as 100% authentic...which he is.
I just finished reading Echoes of Vengeance, which is the first one of a series of six related western novels, all following the same character, young Jethro Spring. Spring is a half-breed; his mother was a Blackfoot Indian, his father a trapper. Jethro is wanted by the law for killing the man who killed his parents.
The story follows him from one state to another, from one coast to another mostly in the early 1870's. The book starts out with a bang, the action is clear, clean, always believable, and it moves along with the pace and power of a runaway freight train.
In this marvelous book, not only is there plenty of great action, boxing, bar fights, shootings, killing, but Cheek explores a great many social problems of this time and place, and does so without ever being preachy. The characters are different, always interesting, and completely real...and importantly too, we the readers come to care deeply about the characters.
This is a tough story, not all apple pie by any means, but an honest one. Adults who read it will darn sure like it, but I'd bet that a great many young adults would also be crazy about it. I feel lucky to have met Roland Cheek and even luckier to have read one of his novels. I plan to read all the rest of them, too, for sure. I've always loved Louie L'Amour's books, but honest, Roland Cheek writes every bit as well, and, well, check it out. You've got a real treat ahead of you...I'd bet my hat on it.
1st chapter excerpt
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