Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review: Scalp Mountain by Julia Robb

Title: Scalp Mountain
Author: Julia Robb
Format: Ebook
Publisher: Self-published
Publish Date: February 19, 2012
Source: I received a copy from the author. This did not affect my review.

Why You're Reading This Book:
  • You're a historical fiction fan.
What's the Story?:

From "It’s 1876 at Scalp Mountain and Colum McNeal is fleeing gunmen sent by his Irish-immigrant father. Colum pioneers a Texas ranch, a home which means everything to him, but struggles to stay there: José Ortero, a Jacarilla Apache, seeks revenge for the son Colum unwittingly killed.

At the same time, an old acquaintance, Mason Lohman, obsessively stalks Colum through the border country, planning to take his life. Colum has inspired the unthinkable in Lohman. In a time and place where a man’s sexuality must stand unchallenged, Colum has ignited Lohman’s desire.
Other characters include Texas Ranger William Henry, who takes Colum’s part against his father while wrestling with his own demons. Henry’s family was murdered by Comanches and he regrets the revenge he took; and Clementine Weaver, who defies frontier prejudice by adopting an Indian baby, must choose between Colum and her husband.

Scalp Mountain is based on the Southern Plains’ Indian Wars.

Those wars were morally complex, and the novel attempts to reflect those profound, tragic and murderous complications.

Everyone was right, everyone was wrong, everyone got hurt."

My Two Cents:

I love historical fiction but I can get tired of reading about the same places, people and events over and over again. I love when an author can take me to a new place and time. Julia Robb does just that with Scalp Mountain. The author takes us to late 1800s Texas and the surrounding areas. At that point in time, the middle part of the country was still wild. The white people who ventured out west from the East Coast were often the only people of their race for a long time. To say that there was tension between these white settlers and the Native Americans, who had been forced on to reservations by then, would be a complete understatement.

The book is really about the struggle between the white settlers and the Native Americans. I thought that Robb did a good job of making the reader feel the plight of both the white settlers and the Native Americans although the books mostly focuses on the white settlers and is therefore more sympathetic towards them.

I really liked the descriptions of life out on the frontier. There was so much going on, especially for poor Colum, one of the main characters in the book. His father sent a gunman after him after he thinks that Colum killed his own brother. Colum is also trying to flee the Native Americans. He leads an exciting life to say the least.

I also really liked Clementine's story. She is definitely a woman before her time. She's strong and resourceful and she doesn't worry too, too much about what other people say about her. She adopts a Native American child after he's found. This doesn't make her too popular with the other women around but she becomes completely dedicated to her son, James.

This is a good story about the not so pretty history of our country told in such a way that it will grab you and hold on to you until the very last page.



  1. Hi Meg,
    It sounds really fascinating, all rugged terrain and gaunt hardy people.
    Loved your review!

  2. This sounds interesting Meg. I love historical novels and this setting appeals to me..awesome review!

    1. I hadn't read much about this setting or time period before this book. This was a great intro!

  3. This one sounds really good! I hadn't heard of it, so thanks for the review! It's going on my TBR.


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