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The Rainbow Trail, with eBook

(Riders of the Purple Sage #2)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  1,413 ratings  ·  122 reviews
John Shefford rode into Utah's valley in search of a new life, and when he met Fay Larkin, he knew he had found it. Even when she was charged with murder, he did not care. He had to have her. She was worth life itself.

Breaking her out of jail was the easy part. After that he had posses to worry about, violent bands of Indians to outrun, a murderous trek across a trackless
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published April 13th 2009 by Tantor Media (first published 1915)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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Henry Avila
Jun 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Rainbow Trail, a worthy sequel to "Riders of the Purple Sage".John Shefford ,a former minister,(he was told to leave by the church , for being a suspected atheist !)meets Bern and Elizabeth Venters in Illinois.They tell him an unbelievable story of Lassiter, Jane Withersteen and Fay Larkin ,their "adopted" daughter .Stuck in Surprise Valley for 12 long years!Strangely Shefford falls in love with Fay ,without ever seeing her.He needs someone to love.Arriving in Arizona, John encounters an Ind ...more
Jun 18, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
After reading a few classic Westerns, I’ve figured out why the heroes have been reflective, thoughtful, intelligent characters. It’s so that the author can put in a lot of description, mostly of the land. The terrain and vegetation descriptions set this apart from other non-genre novels - Grey describes like he is there, so that you could picture the cinematic version of the story. There wasn’t as much going on in this one compared to “Riders of the Purple Sage”, and multiple bad guys exit with ...more
Aug 19, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Rosy clouds in their magnificent splendor, majestic mountains in pale moonlight or wafts of morning mist ... that sort of embellishment is pasted all over his paragraphs - a dollop of repetitious, utterly boring, semi-poetic, adolescent, three-penny-novel goo. Girlie stuff. Yuck.
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the (much anticipated by me) sequel to Riders of the Purple Sage, but set about sixteen years in the future and following (mostly) a different set of characters. Having escaped Utah and those pesky Mormons in the first book, Vinters and Bess befriend our main character and tell him about the hidden valley Lassiter, Jane, and Fay are trapped in. Our main character, for reasons of his own, goes in search of the hidden valley with thoughts of rescuing Fay like a knight in shining armour. Th ...more
Sep 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
This is a sequel to the classic Riders of the Purple Sage, though the main characters from that book do not enter the plot till very near the end. Like the first book, this book is also a romance set in the west, but much of the time the characters and the plot are subordinate to the setting, and even when the characters and their actions take center stage, they have been changed through their experiences in the "crucible of the desert." Zane Grey wrote of the land through which he traveled and ...more
Jun 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This sequel to Riders of the Purple Sage has an even more salacious story line than the first book. In Riders, a young Mormon woman has to escape the clutches of her controlling church elders. In this book, which takes place fifteen years later, the state of Utah has outlawed plural marriages, but an entire village of beautiful young "sealed" wives (not legal wives, but plural wives sealed by God) are hidden in the mountains, and visited in the dead of night by gray-bearded elders. Yuck! The her ...more
Aug 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once in awhile you come upon a book or books that speaks to you on a different level then all of the others and that is what "The Riders of the Purple Sage" and "The Rainbow Trail" have done to me. The descriptions of the vastness and beauty of the American West along with its history and romance told by a true artist is a combination that is hard to recover from. I will need a day or so to absorb all of this before I can let go and begin another book. Zane Grey was a true artist and a must read ...more
What a lovely continuation to Riders of The Purple Sage.

A disgraced minister heads to the desert to find himself and a girl named Fay Larkin that in his mind will be his salvation. In that beautiful desert, he finds love, loyalty, friendship and himself.

The friendship between Shefford and Nas Ta Bega alone made the story a five star read. Again, I love a good bromance.

I was a little upset by how queasy Shefford was over Fay killing Waggoneer, but it all righted itself.

Jane's horse still knowing
Joanne Cretacci
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved it! Perfect book for a perfect time in my life.
I was visiting Arizona and the great red canyons and sunsets while reading this book!
Impeccabile descriptions. Interesting story line.
The timeless theme of one man’s search for meaning in life, and the Mormon friend and Noble Navajo that stick closer than a brother.
Mormons, secret wives, the vanishing Navajo Nation and action add to the interest of this story.
The book was written in 1915 by Zane Grey who is considered the father of the west
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely sequel to Grey's "Riders of the Purple Sage." Twelve years later a young, disillusioned, ex-preacher in Illinois, hears about the wonderful secret canyon where a couple with their young foster daughter had fled to for safety, knowing they could not likely get out ever again without help from outside. He is enthralled with the idea that he might find that canyon and bring the girl and her family back out into the world. He heads out West and, without any experience, journeys into the unfor ...more
Thomas Robert
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not as beautiful and thoroughly delectable a work as Riders of the Purple Sage. But notwithstanding this, The Rainbow Trail is still well worth a read; for Zane Grey’s beautiful prose and - whilst not as powerful and haunting as the endless sage slopes of its prequel - the beautiful imagery, which seems to be a fairly unique trademark of his. Some of the places in his books stick with me as though they were real places that I have visited. This is certainly no mean feat, and something which no o ...more
Gingerspice Obrien
Jun 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-to
The book is not as well paced or intense as Riders of the Purple Sage. Shefford is no Lassiter. He too often gets lost in his own dream world and needs others to snap him out of it. He is more a hero by accident and by the setup by others. I was sorry that Lassiter was portrayed as old and frail. I was hoping for at least one good gunfight where he could shine. I thought Fay Larkin was portrayed well, (wished she had really done the deed). Jane Withersteen was portrayed as just a shadow of her f ...more
Nov 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Zane Grey, but this one far outshines most of his books. The descriptions of the canyons and the river and the tension of the adventures were so exciting, I couldn't wait to finish the book, and yet I hated to say good bye to the characters. This is my second reading of the story, and it was better this time! I was so happy that Lassiter and Jane got out, and so glad the Mormon religion has changed their practices of "sealed wives". Horrible. I think Zane liked the Mormons, but hated some ...more
Mar 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I was so fascinated by the author's descriptions that our next trip was planned around this exciting landmark in Northern Arizona. We took a boat trip on Lake Powell and hiked from the landing to the site of this natural bridge.

The story itself was fascinating, being the culmination years after the end of "Rider's of the Purple Sage." It had a mysterious quality to the story. I could read these two books time and again.
reta durbin
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yesteryears reading, revived!

Picturesque, soul searching, romantic, mysterious, educational, enlightening, fascinating plot that kept me reading for several hours, and hating to lay it down even when I knew I must!
Apr 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. Better than the first, but Grey seems to spend more time on descriptions of the terrain than on a story. I will give Mr. Zane Grey a break for now.
Jen Hirt
Aug 16, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As you all know from my earlier post, I'm reading hundred-year-old westerns because this summer's vacation crossed paths with Zane Grey's homestead in Lackawaxen, PA. His house on the Delaware River is fantastic Americana (his writing space is perfectly preserved, down to the rugs and books and custom Hopi paintings done right on the wall). His grave nearby is quiet, mixed in with resting spots of Revolutionary War fatalities (the Minisink Battleground, just down the road). The museum is free, a ...more
This sequel to Riders of the Purple Sage, is another classic western romance/adventure. A massive landslide has opened up Surprise Valley where Jane Withersteen, Jim Lassiter and young Fay Larkin were locked up for more than a decade. A cruel Mormon has coerced Fay into becoming a secondary wife by threatening Jane and Jim. But we have a new protagonist to the rescue, John Shefford, who failed as a minister in Illinois, lost his faith and has now come west chasing a vision of Surprise Valley. Be ...more
Just finished reading the book “THE RAINBOW TRAIL” which is the sequel to “RIDERS OF THE PURPLE SAGE, thus (BOOK 2) by ZANE GREY. I read this book while listening to the audible version narrated by JIM ROBERTS. Originally published in 1915, The Rainbow Trail is the sequel to Riders of the Purple Sage (also a Bison Book). At the end of that famous novel, a huge boulder had rolled down to shut off the entrance to Surprise Valley, leaving Lassiter, Jane Withersteen, and little Fay Larkin to a singu ...more
Dianne Shaw
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best western I have read!

This rating reflects the genius of the author in writing a thoughtful, exciting, and searching story. John Shefford was a man who lost his faith in the narrow confines of Christianity and Grey did an excellent job of winding his journey to find peace in the pain of rejection around every exciting bend of the wild west in which he rode and every experience he had along the way.
Jan 20, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, kindle
Sequel to "Riders of the Purple Sage", Grey clearly has issues with Mormons and presents Indians as noble, wise people. Description of the landscape is first rate. The story is melodramatic.
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series-2-prime
The Rainbow Tail / The Desert Crucible • by Zane Grey
(Riders . . . Book #2)

John Shefford at age 24 has been removed as preacher over doctrinal disagreements with his church. Providentially he meets Bern and Bess Venters, a wealthy equestrian family of three, who relay to him a fantastic tale.

12 years ago Bess was saved from a life among outlaws, after being abducted by Mormons as a child. Still trapped in that high desert canyon is a young girl, Fay Larkin and her guardians, Jane and Lassiter (
Sean Cozart
Nov 12, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first Zane Grey read and undoubtingly my last. Classic Western author they said. Unless you mean a classic Western contains raping, bigotry, racism, predictable, flora and fauna knowledge lacking, and character development unheard of in most characters.

Basic plot summary, this is a sequel to a gunfighter who 'saved' a woman and a young child from marrying a 'Mormon' polygamist. He did sonby trapping himself and the women in a valley, so no one can go in or out. Sixteen or so years lat
Joseph Carrabis
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had some challenges with this book until I got to maybe 10-15 pages from the end. Gray writes in his opening that The Rainbow Trail isn’t a sequel to Riders of the Purple Sage (a tremendous book and a must read).
Same location, references the same characters, makes use of Sage’s storyline, ... Are you sure this isn’t a sequel?
There book also “suffered” from many expository lumps; long descriptions of the location, long descriptions of the character’s internal conflicts, lengthy soliloquies
Geoffrey Benn
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, the-west
“The Rainbow Trial,” by Zane Grey, is the sequel to the author’s most famous work, “The Riders of the Purple Sage.” The action picks up ten years after the events of the first book and follows John Shefford, a defrocked minister who heard the story of Jane Withersteen and Lassiter (presumed to still be trapped in Surprise Valley) and journeys west to find them and Jane’s adopted daughter Fay Larkin. Shefford is able to locate Fay in a secret village of Mormon “sealed wives” and must sneak her aw ...more
David Zimmerman
Riders of the Purple sage is considered the best work of Zane Grey. However, it was incomplete, begging for a sequel to finish the story. The Rainbow Trail was written for that purpose, and while it neatly ties up all the loose ends, the author became lost in a romance that I suspect few have cared about as much as he did. As a consequence, much of the story crawls through stark canyons of unnecessary musings and dialogue, that meander somewhere between chick lit and and a satisfying western sto ...more
Mike Slusher
An improvement over Riders of the Purple Sage, but it does share many of the same flaws that were prevalent in its predecessor. There's at least a tiny bit of "on screen" action in this book with Shefford defending an Indian girl against a missionary and later firing a shot (but missing) at a group of outlaws chasing him and his group.

Just like the original story though there are paragraph after paragraph of setting descriptions and the big reveal is telegraphed and came as no surprise at all.
Stephen Brooke
Sep 21, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
As with ‘Riders of the Purple Sage,’ to which ‘The Rainbow Trail’ is a sequel, this is a tale more of escaping than defeating. Not only escaping the real physical dangers encountered but our protagonist escaping the baggage of his past, ‘finding himself’ at last. The ‘rainbow trail’ is a symbol of that journey, from despair to faith.

The story line gets a bit murky at time, almost losing its way. There are subplots that seem rather aimless. I suppose they are meant more to flesh out the setting t
Gerald Matzke
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In thinking about this book, the first thing that came to mind was that the author must have been paid by the word. It seemed to be a long story. The main character got himself into all kinds of difficult situations but somehow found a way to keep to his goal of finding a girl he had only heard about from a friend. This book is a follow up to a previous story by Zane Grey that had some open ended circumstances. Just about any trial and tribulation that could be associated with the Old West can b ...more
Edward Sanchez
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
I read on the book jacket that readers of Riders of the Purple Sage wondered what happened to Jane and Lassiter. I wasn't one of them as I didn't care for their characters in that book but as I read this book I wondered as well. This book ties in what happens to them through the character of Shefford. I enjoyed Shefford's easy going nature and how occasionally his anger got the better of him. The chase seen at the end was great as it fit with something that falls within the skill level of Sheffo ...more
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Pearl Zane Grey was an American author best known for his popular adventure novels and stories that presented an idealized image of the rugged Old West. As of June 2007, the Internet Movie Database credits Grey with 110 films, one TV episode, and a series, Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater based loosely on his novels and short stories.

Other books in the series

Riders of the Purple Sage (2 books)
  • Riders of the Purple Sage (Riders of the Purple Sage #1)

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