"This debut novel delivers a fresh view of black pioneers, refugees of Reconstruction, on the Western frontier. Tony Penny portrays main character Gabriel Lynch vividly, making him feel human, immediate, and palpable. Seeking adventure, Gabriel and friend James join a band of cowboys led by horse thief, rapist, and murderer Marshall and his half-black brother, Caleb. Penny evokes the youthful emotions, recklessness, and repressed desires of the characters using changes in tone and pace, as well as accents and regional dialects. Penny's understated yet professional style helps mitigate the story's violence and personalize the coming-of-age aspect of this remarkable adventure. S.C.A. (c) AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine"