Synopses & Reviews
When the enigmatic Jedediah Smith, greatest of the mountain men, puts together a brigade of trappers for an expedition into the unknown territory of Mexican California , Sam Morgan joyfully joins up. With his Crow Indian wife Meadowlark and his coyote pup at his side, Sam sees the expedition as a chance for adventure -- and wealth.
Captain Smith leads the group south in search of the the Buenaventura, a great river believed to connect the Great Salt Lake to California, but when the river proves to be a myth, the trek toward the Pacific becomes a nightmare.
Like ghosts they struggle into the San Gabriel Mission in southern California and there recuperate, but the Mexican government eyes them with suspicion and Sam and his companions are forced to flee back into the Mojave.
When Meadowlark falls ill, Sam learns the poignant meaning of the words of his mentor, Hannibal McKye:
"Life is like a golden bear. It's magnificent, it's beautiful, and it bites."
"Win Blevins has long since won his place among the West's very best." -- Tony Hillerman
"His gritty fiction brings to mind the the fur-trading novels of Frederick Manfred(Lord Grizzly, 1954) and Vardis Fisher(Mountain Man)." --Kirkus Reviews on Beauty for Ashes
"[An] entertaining, vivid portrait of frontier America as seen through the eyes of an impressionable youth."--Booklist on So Wild A Dream
"So Wild a Dream is a fabulous beginning of what promises to become a classic series that will be on college reading lists in history classes studying the fur trade era."
"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
"One of the finest novels to come out of the American West in a long time...an amazing book, grandly conceived, beautifully written..."-- Dallas Morning News on Stone Song
PRAISE FOR THE RENDEZVOUS SERIES
So Wild A Dream
"So Wild a Dream is a fabulous beginning of what promises to become a classic series that will be on college reading lists in history classes studying the fur trade era."--Roundup Magazine
"The first volume in the Rendezvous Series, So Wild a Dream is a thoroughly enjoyable tale of survival in the wilderness of the Great American West in the early 19th century. So Wild a Dream is a story of amazing courage, endurance, and resourcefulness."--Tennessean
"Win Blevins' novel about venturesome Sam Morgan and the fur trade and mountain men of the 1820s is both authentic and entertaining. It will be a welcome addition to any collection of Western fiction."-- Dallas Morning News
"Author Blevins, an expert on early American fur trade, introduces his rendezvous series with this entertaining, vivid portrait of frontier America as seen through the eyes of an impressionable youth." -Booklist
"...a powerful, heartfelt saga that colors a true picture of the mindset of the mountain man. The scenes are vivid, the scope of characters brilliant and refined.... So Wild a Dream is a story for all times."--Buffalo Reflex (Buffulo, MO)
"With the first page, the reader steps back into a wild new country populated by characters who are, enchantingly, only slightly more tame. Blevins's sweeping
vision of the American frontier is just plain irresistible." --W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear, authors of People of the Owl
" No one writes about the fur trappers' westering experience better than Win Blevins. He has a poet's way with words, and imagery to match the wilderness reality. In So Wild A Dream Win has re-created that long-ago world where the improbable was commonplace, and where courage and audacity made anything possible."-- Lucia St. Clair Robson, author of Ghost Warrior
"So Wild a Dream reads like spare prose poetry, limning vulnerable, yet heroic human characters against the untrammeled frontier of the early nineteenth century. Short of reading the existing journals and letters of the men and women who settled a continent, today's reader will never come closer to seeing what they saw and seeing what they felt." --Loren D. Estleman, author of Black Powder, White Smoke
"The first volume of Win Blevin's proposed Rendezvous Series, So Wild A Dream is a fabulous beginning of what promises to become a classic series that will be on college reading lists in history classes studying the fur trading era. Besides it's educational value, So Wild A Dream is fun to read. If you can only afford one book this year, buy this one. It's a keeper." -Roundup Magazine
Beauty for Ashes
"Striving to succeed at trapping furs under the ominous gaze of the Sioux, he's continually battling wilderness, weather and the vicissitudes of fortune. His[Sam's]birthday-suit-bare escape from a Lakota camp is one of the most riveting episodes of recent Western fiction. And when Sam and his newly won Crow bride prepare to accompany the famed Jedediah Smith to the great Western Ocean, in the next of Blevin's Rendezvous series, the reader will gladly follow them all the way."--True West
"His gritty fiction brings to mind the the fur-trading novels of Frederick Manfred(Lord Grizzly, 1954) and Vardis Fisher(Mountain Man).The glory years of frontier life, fresh and rich"--Kirkus Reviews
"Blevins has done his research and knows the mountain men as well as anyone could--to read this tale is to get a true sense of what their ordeal and adventures must have been like...."--Library Journal on Dancing with the Golden Bear
"To read this tale is to get a true sense of what [the mountain men's] ordeal and adventures must have been like...."
Young Sam Morgan, the Pennsylvania runaway and now a seasoned Rocky Mountain trapper, joins a brigade led by Jedediah Smith, greatest mountain man of them all, heading west for the Mexican province of Alta California.
With Sam on this dangerous mission into unexplored territory are his beloved Crow wife Meadowlark and a polyglot host of multi-national fur hunters, Ute and Shoshone Indians. The journey south to the Colorado River and across the Mojave Desert is harrowing: game rare or nonexistent, water a rarity, strange bands of naked Indians, the hammering sun, all in a godforsaken land of sand and scrub.
Sam Morgan's life changed unalterably when the pregnant Meadowlark falls ill as the brigade makes its way through Mojave country. In an emergency push west he is able to bring her safely into the California coastal town of Monterey but there faces the greatest crisis of his life - the death of the only woman he has ever loved.
About the Author
, an authority on the Plains Indians and fur-trade era of the West, is author of Give Your Heart to the Hawks
, Stone Song
, his prize-winning novel of Crazy Horse and many others including his Rendevous series that began with So Wild a Dream
He lives in Utah with his wife Meredith, also a novelist.