nikibell's Reviews > The Work of Wolves

The Work of Wolves by Kent Meyers
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Nov 12, 07

bookshelves: books-i-have-finished
Read in November, 2007

I was given this book by a friend as a birthday gift. I don’t usually go for westerns so I was unsure if I would like it enough to finish it. I was pleasantly surprised. The story unfolds at a comfortable pace, introducing four major characters early in the tale: Carson Fielding (a cowboy and the main character), Earl Walks Alone and Ted Kills Many (both Lakota Indians), and Willi Schubert (a German foreign-exchange student who is eager to do anything Indian). The story chronicles the intersection of their lives as they come together to stop an unspeakably brutal, but powerful, man, Magnus Yarborough, from engaging in an act of extreme cruelty. Each man also struggles to come to terms with troubled relationships within his own family (mostly troubled relationships with fathers). Each gains insight into his past and his relationship with his family through their shared experiences. There is also an underlying element of an intimate relationship between Carson and Rebecca, Magnus’s wife, which adds some romance and contributes to some suspenseful scenes. Kent Meyers successfully captures and puts to words universal elements of human nature. Meyers is also adept at incorporating social and cultural challenges faced by Native Americans without sounding preachy or perpetuating derogatory stereotypes. I also liked the way the author weaves in Native American spiritual beliefs and practices—there were elements of the metaphysical that added interest without getting too weird. Meyers is also skilled at describing the setting. Having fairly recently made a cross-country jaunt through some of the very places he described, I felt he was accurate and gifted in capturing the nuance of sky and earth in that area. He successfully conveyed both the beauty and the harshness of that landscape. My only complaint was with the finish. It felt like the story was not done being told when it ended. To me there was a need for more closure in some of the relationships and I wanted to know more about what happens to the characters. Also, their approach to solving the crisis and standing up to the story’s Goliath, though successful, left me feeling very sad.
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