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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  1,480 ratings  ·  53 reviews
He was born in the swamps of the Eastern States, but he came of age on the frontier. Now, Jean LaFarge finds himself swept up in an epic battle in the wilds of Alaska, where a tyranical Russian has seized control of the fur trade-and the land. But Jean has never backed down from a fight, even one as bold and dangerous as this-a battle that will shape the future of America.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 1st 2001 by Signet (first published 1957)
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Community Reviews

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Henry Avila
An orphan lives in a swamp, near the Susquehanna River, making a meager living selling herbs in the local village.His mother has died and the father becomes a mountain man, in the wilds of the Rockies.Jean LaBarge, has only one friend Rob Walker, a shy little boy from a good family.Who of course, don't want their son hanging around with a worthless kid ,who's mother is rumored to have been a gypsy!A group of thieves return to the area.Planning to rob and kill Captain Hutchins, a wealthy merchant ...more
I launched into Sitka mere hours after finishing The Walking Drum, as I couldn't accept the idea that the adventure was over and immediately craved more of Louis L'Amour's unique blend of action, intrigue, and history. Having already gone into some depth on his style and ability as both a writer and storyteller in my review of The Walking Drum, I won't do so as much here; however, if any clarification is needed, I recommend checking out both the review and the book.

This novel brings the reader b
Book club selection for July. I'm trying to keep an open mind, but my expectations are quite low for an adventure novel written by the King of Pulp in 1957, when men were men and women were, well, mostly props.


I'm embarrassed about how grumpy I was when faced with reading this book. I certainly wouldn't have chosen it on my own, but I was pleasantly surprised by it, especially the second half, which focused more on the purchase of Alaska from Russia. This first half is more of a standard a
May 30, 2009 Joy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: L'Amour fans and western readers
Jean LaBarge raised himself, in the outback of Pennsylvania in the mid 1800s, until good luck and a merchant he happened to help changed his life. Decades later he is an expert in the wilds of the West, and in the ballrooms of San Francisco. Then Alaska puts its stamp on him, and he will risk everything for its people, including a lovely woman.

While not a sailor by any means, I found some of the events in the Alaskan channels have imprinted themselves on my memory.

I recently read the beginning o
Ryan Miller
My first L'Amour book--he is a master storyteller, weaving compelling narrative with interesting characters that seem to have multiple dimensions. L'Amour even moves away from some stereotypes when describing the Tlingits of southeast Alaska (where I lived for several years), but he doesn't move far enough away. First Nations people are described as naturally warlike and easily persuaded by simple gifts. While his characterization was detailed for his main protagonists and antagonists, no First ...more
Sitka is one of three Louis L'Amour books published in 1957 and the 12th book of his I've read in my quest to read them all them by year of publication.

Sitka is a bit different from the typical L'Amour book that I've read so far. Up until now most of L'Amour's stories have taken place in the US Southwest and follows the pattern of a tall dark stranger rides into town, suffers some injustice and commences to, with either fists, six-guns a blazing or both send the bad guys on their way all while w
Nikki Jefford
Quite the adventure!

I enjoyed the early American, Russian, and Alaskan history. I was born and raised in Anchorage and know very little about southeast. The story and characters were engaging, the descriptions of land, sea, and climate stunning.

For a book titled “SITKA”, it took a long time to reach land ho – not until halfway through the book. I was hoping for more land-based action, but most of the story took place in San Francisco or at sea.

What tripped me up the most were the constant POV ju
Louis L'Amour never lets down! This is a great read! Full of adventure, history and romance. Want a little of American/Russian history, how we got Alaska- a short history lesson in a great story-the best part of historical fiction! Yes, now I want to know more- that's what a great teacher does- inspires you to seek. As always the characters are awesome, the kind that make you want to be a better person- demonstrating the charactersitics of our American history heros-the kind of people who build ...more
Unlike any other L'Amour novels that I have read. Actually had a little romance interweaved with the history of our purchase of Alaska from the Russians. This book is slightly reminiscent of Michener's style of writing about places and their history. However, Michener's books of his last three decades had little room for humor or romance. The only similarity to L'Amour's other 120 novels is the presence of a strong independent male hero. However, he does often take second seat to the main female ...more
Joanne Fate
This is an enjoyable read. Louis L'Amour always wrote great descriptions that allows the reader to imagine the setting and the characters. I wish more had taken place in Sitka because I would like to have been able to imagine it better. It's classic L'Amour that takes place in unusual locales such as Siberia.
WOW!! This was a fantastic book. One of Louis L'Amour's best. I read it in a week! and it's kind of long for a Louis L'Amour. Most of the time his books are much shorter. But it being long does not, by any stretch of the imagination, mean lagging and boring. Every page is better then the last and you can't wait to finish it. I stayed up late last night reading the last 4 chapters. I just knew I couldn't go to bed until I had finished it. Jean LaBarge is a fantastic hero, strong, moral, noble, ki ...more
For literary style this novel only gets two stars. But I was in the mood for an old-fashioned tale and since I will be visiting Sitka next year, I wanted background on this part of Alaska. When I travel by small ship through the fjords, I will be thankful that there is no Russian ship chasing us! I just wish I knew how much was true and what was fictional. Learned that Rob Walker really was a senator who did much to influence the purchase of Alaska from Russia. Count Rotcheff and his wife Helena ...more
This is the first Louis L'Amour book I've read, and I really enjoyed it. The pacing through me off a little at first, and then at times when it seemed like Jean hit a big snag that may take some finagling, it would only take a paragraph to come through. There were adventures upon adventures upon adventures, and this story didn't dilly-dally, nor were there any superfluous parts. I can definitely see the appeal!
This is one of my favorites of Louis L'Amour's novels...though its scope is very broad, and some have complained that the plot is too think and the characters improbable, I is a novel, not history. I've always been fascinated by Alaska, and in my younger years hoped to live and work there (my wife put an end to those ideas LOL). Sitka revolves around Seward's Folly, the purchase of the Alaskan territory, and evokes the grandeur of the wide open spaces of a new land. Just thinking ab ...more
I liked the beginning but it drug on a little long until we get to a grown up Jean LaBarge. L'Amour writes great action stories and there was quite a few times I didn't want to set the book down. I also like how LaBarge respects the marriage between Helena and the Count. I like that this is considered a Western and yet it's more a sea tale set between San Francisco and Russian Alaska with trips through Siberia and Czar Alexander's Court. This is just another book that shows that you really can't ...more
Anthony O'Brian
Absolutely one of his best!
Ruthie Jones
May 12, 2011 Ruthie Jones rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Ruthie by: Joyce Abell
What a rousing adventure story from start to finish! Louis L'Amour is noted for writing westerns, but Sitka doesn't necessarily fall into that category. This story has it all: sea adventure, land adventure, outlaws and theives, high speed chases, duels, a frame tale of sorts, Alaska, and political as well as international intrigue. The hero, Jean LaBarge, seems a little too perfect, but I guess heroes sometimes are. Louis L'Amour's writing style is extremely poetic, and he makes the adventure co ...more
I inherited a bunch of L'Amour books from my grandfather when he passed nearly a decade ago. He was a simple American farmer and these books suited his personality to be sure. Once a year or so I take one from the shelf and plow through it. They make me feel good...they speak to a simpler time that I think we all wish to experience from time to time. As L'amour books go, this was one of the best. A fictional history breathed to life. A nice simple place to be temporarily transported.
It was a little melodramatic and stereotypical. And the really tough guy in the story was "a real man" because he punched people and kicked them while they were down. But I did like the last quarter of the book pretty well when the story finally built up so intensity but I never felt like the characters came off of the page except Helena at times and Jean at times. (The 2 main characters)
Jan 18, 2010 Robert rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Western fans, L'Amour fans and fans of sailing adventure
Shelves: westerns
A little different than your average L'Amour western. The story takes place during the years when Russia laid claim to the Alaska territory, starting in the Appalachians and traveling to California, then Alaska, Russia, Washington D.C. and back to Alaska.
Although technically a western, the story is more of a world wide adventure, including many pages of exciting adventure on the high seas.
Terry Collins
Great adventure story, a bit different than most of his other books (I believe I have read all)--the majority are good guy rides in to town, bad guy runs the town, good woman with a problem--good guy wins at the end. This one travels much of the world, not all on horseback. Very good read for any L'Amour fan or works fine for a Michener fan (although MUCH less wordy than a Michener.)
Excellent book. Gave a good history of Alaska prior to "Seward's Folly" and the purchase by the U.S.
Debbie Hammer
Jan 08, 2012 Debbie Hammer rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Debbie by: My Mom
One of my all-time favorite books by L'Amour. This book takes place during the time when America was expanding across the continent and was in the middle of the Alaska purchase. It's exciting and full of adventure and I love reading it as much today as I did as a teenager when I was first introduced to Mr. L'Amour's writings.
L'Amour wrote both traditional "gunfighter" westerns and Mountain men/ explorer books. I prefer the traditional ones, but some of the Mountain men books are really good. This one is a mountain man type work and not one of his best, but it has some intersting stuff about the opening up of Alaska.
I'd give it 6 stars if they were there. This story is quite captivating. Hard to put the book down. Tells a wonderful story full of history and love without the smut. Not your usual Louis L'Amour. This is my second favorite behind "The Walking Drum". Highly recommended!
I've been on a Louis Lamour read-a-thon lately. I'm not sure why other than they are sitting on my bookshelf and I thought I would try some - something different to read. In my opinion, this is one of his most entertaining books.
Judy Tate
Hard to find.
Fredrick Danysh
Russia and the United States dispute Alaska prior to its purchase. Throw in an American ship captain, a Russian noble, and a beautiful Russian woman and you have the recipe for trouble. Told in the masterful way of Louis L"Amour.
Never read a Louis L'Amour book before. Picked it up because I've been to Sitka and love it. One of my favorite towns in Alaska. Found myself starting to skim some of the blah-blah-blah stuff, really wanted to be done with it.
L'Amour had seriously honed his skills in description of the landscape by the time this book was written. I truly enjoyed this book! It educated me about some of the history of Russia AND of Alaska! Great book!
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Louis L'Amour was an American author. L'Amour's books, primarily Western fiction, remain enormously popular, and most have gone through multiple printings. At the time of his death all 101 of his works were in print (86 novels, 14 short-story collections and one full-length work of nonfiction) and he was considered "one of the world's most popular writers".
More about Louis L'Amour...
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“Strange how it was always the spoiled who weakened and cried first, and it was the injured, the maimed, the blind, and the poor who fought on alone.” 16 likes
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