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A Novel of the West
By Ivon B. Blum

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Lyrically written, dramatically told, and historically based, this is the epic saga of Pedro Cortez, an 1840s Taos boy, who struggles to manhood during the bloody Pueblo revolt where he confronts betrayal, his father's murder, and cruel Black Hess who saber-cuts Pedro's mother and escapes. Pedro sets out in pursuit, partnered by majestic mountain man, Long John Hatcher, and daring trapper, Louy Simonds. They out-yarn the devil and teach Pedro the true measure of friendship. In California they find gold and mystery; lynchings and scurvy in one of the first placer mines before the rush that changes history forever; and meet Black Hess in fiery revenge. On the way back home, Pedro rescues an abandoned Becky Goddard from scalping knives amid the rumble of wagons and gun-thunder along the Santa Fe Trail. He also discovers a black man, Dibble, and fights the evil of Missouri slave catchers. Pedro and Becky, Hatcher and Louy, Black Hess and a host of Indians, freighters, whores and hellions propel this exciting first novel down a madly churning river of souls.

Ivon B. Blum is a retired Los Angeles lawyer who has been researching and writing about the American Southwest and California for more than ten years. As a boy he worked on a cattle ranch and panned gold in the Kern River and, later, in Alaska's Nome. He's traveled the Santa Fe trail from Kansas to Taos, New Mexico, looking for the old wagon wheel ruts; visited with the Tewa and the Navajo in their home towns and flyfished the San Juan, Rio Grande and Pecos. Blum is at home on the California gold trail of Highway 49 and has fished and walked much of the High Sierra. When he writes about Fort Union, Wagon Mound, the Bear River or a smoky horse, he's no stranger.

ROUNDUP MAGAZINE says: "The action never stops in this terrific first novel by a gifted storyteller. Strong characters , a sense of place, and beautiful writing combine to make 'River of Souls' a book for all readers."

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6 x 9
ISBN: 978-0-86534-281-1
320 pp.,$28.95

6 x 9
ISBN: 978-1-63293-148-1
320 pp.,$24.95


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