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Hard Land to Rule

(Hard Land to Rule Trilogy #1)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  65 ratings  ·  27 reviews
A story of faded love, forbidden temptations, treacherous adversaries, adventure and death on the Texas frontier. Hard Land to Rule is the first in a trilogy about the turbulent times deep in the hills west of Austin after the Civil War. Join an unforgettable cast of rugged frontiersmen and pompous commanders, jaded wives and an enticing seductress, Texas Rangers and Coman ...more
Paperback, 250 pages
Published October 30th 2013 by Anthony Whitt (first published September 26th 2013)
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4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  65 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I truly liked this book. The author has put together a fine western with believable characters and a clever, well-paced plot. I liked the way he wrote the mysterious geography of the region into the tale. His descriptions of the land and the sky and the people of central Texas remind me of the books written by Willa Cather about Nebraska. That is high praise for his craftsmanship. This book is certainly worth a purchase and readers looking for a good western will not be disappointed. I would not ...more
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-this
This book is an excellent picture of the Old West as it probably was near the end of the Civil War. I thoroughly liked the lack of profanity! Anthony’s skill with words is magical, I am in awe! Take the following as examples:

“The gurgling water whispered a peaceful message that relaxed a man if he was inclined to listen.”

“Faith, Matt. Gotta have faith.” Matt laughed softly. “Humph. Faith is hard to hold onto. Kind of like that sand, ain’t it?”

“False dawn awakened the songbirds down in the gorge,
Leona Grace
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written in a rich, authentic voice, this story will keep you captivated from page to page and make you regret the long, hard ride had to come to an end.

Yep. Exactly right. A cracking good story that fitted the era. Violent, brutal and gritty, but also very believable. (great cover as well)
Rhonda Garman
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love it!

I really enjoyed reading this book. This book isn't one that just has words. This western novel Pull's you into it as if you are the one experiencing and living this life.
I highly recommended this book. I will be reading his next novel who much antici
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This solid first book in the historical fiction "Hard Land to Rule" series is characterized by a compelling storyline and elegant descriptive prose. The author's knowledge of the time period following the Civil War on the American frontier, and the terrain in and around Austin Texas give the novel a high level of authenticity. The descriptive prose is well balanced - nicely detailed, but not excessive. The great reviews for this book don't lie. This is a terrific book and highly recommended.
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: westerns
HARD LAND TO RULE is the first book I've read by the author Anthony Whitt, the first book in his "Hard Land to Rule" trilogy, and is one of the books on the reading list for the Goodreads "American Westerns" group that the author and I are both members of.

Anthony Whitt has written a fine book with all the elements of what I look for in both frontier and western novels, and I really enjoyed this one being from the period of time it covers in the younger Austin, TX area where the hardships of life
Dorothy Wiley
Apr 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Anthony Whitt is a talented new author. This book took me back to the early days of the Texas frontier. I felt like I was riding along with the Texas rangers through the hill country Whitt so vividly describes. The fight scenes are realistically and dramatically portrayed. The author also did a great job of helping the reader to understand the life and death struggles as well as the everyday challenges early pioneers faced. Highly recommend.
Russell Brennan
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Western fans. Self-publishing fans.
Recommended to Russell by: Goodreads groups
**Spoiler Free**
I approached this book with a little trepidation, I've had rather forgettable experiences with self published authors recently; add in the fact it took me a few months to get a copy of this through my local library and I was concerned the work might not live up to my expectations. Thankfully, I was very pleasantly surprised.

The novel follows Matt, a rancher in Texas a few years after the civil war. He is a man feeling the pressure both from the savagery of the time, Indian raids
Dec 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
There is something eminently satisfying about a "good" western for me. The good guys are good, the bad guys are bad, the main characters usually face daunting moral decisions that they somehow overcome, and there is always something heroic accomplished (in this case rescue of a child in trouble). A "good" western always leaves me with a really good feeling when I finish the last page. "Hard Land to Rule" is one of those "good" westerns. Set in Texas, in and around the Austin area, just after the ...more
Dec 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Anthony Whitt is an artists whose brush strokes are words. Like Zane Grey, Whitt paints a story, scenery and surroundings are detailed and vivid in the reader's mind. It is set in Texas, in a region in which his own ancestors fought hard to rule the land. The story is loosely based on Whitt's ancestor, a rancher who rode with the Texas Rangers. In the story, Matt fights weather, his personal demons from the Civil War, white carpetbaggers who want to take over his ranch for lack of tax payments a ...more
Curt Locklear
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Entertaining throughout. The history comes alive in Hard Land to Rule. The villains are ruthless, and the heroes struggle to deal with fear and extreme hardship. The book brings the harsh life of the early Texas settlers to the forefront but never loses a great narrative perspective. Bravo, Mr. Whitt.
Sep 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this well written Western novel.

It is rare to find Western novels of this calibre being written today and I am pleased that the author is a member of Goodreads and that he has already published a second book in what will be a trilogy chronicling the life and times of a rancher and part time Texas Ranger in Texas during the years following the Civil War.

I urge any one who may have even a fleeting interest in this genre to do themselves a favour and get a copy of this book. It
Patrick Clark
Feb 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a good read. The characters are well developed and credible. Whitt uses his descriptive detail to enhance the suspense that builds up between the actions scenes, and the action comes with a punch.
Staci Suhy
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This was a good book... I really enjoyed the characters.

** I received this book for free as part of a First-Reads promotion
Deborah Camp
Jan 22, 2019 rated it liked it
For those who enjoy straight-forward, men-focused westerns, this will be delightful. As someone who likes more character study than pages of men riding from one place to another, I wasn't as entertained. I particularly didn't like the way the hero was conflicted between his faithfulness to his wife, who had borne him children and worked like a dog, and a neighbor lady who flirted with him and let him know that she would be "willing." In the end, he decided he go back to his wife after his advent ...more
Kim Stringfellow Long
Great read!

Gritty Western full of adventure! I really enjoyed this book and the story and characters are extremely well-written!! If you love a gritty Western you will love this book!
Dec 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
The sheer size of the state of Texas lends itself easily to expansive tales of heroism and adventure on a grand scale. There are almost innumerable stories of the heroes and villains that lived and died there. But all of the grand stories are made up of the singular stories of individuals who took part in the great exploits.

Hard Land to Rule is the story of one such individual, a man named Matt, who has settled outside Austin in a land inhabited by the Comanche people. Having lost his young son
Oct 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the first in a trilogy. It is about the turbulent times deep in the hills west of Austin after the Civil War. Set on the rugged frontier, step into Whitt's world of "rugged frontiersmen and pompous commanders, jaded wives and an enticing seductress, Texas Rangers and Comanche warriors". I couldn't put down this book. I enjoyed the setting, the characters and the period when this took place. It is rare that I pick up a western fictional book that I get so lost in and can not stop reading. ...more
Greg Nixon
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Hard Land to Rule is storytelling at its best. The interesting narrative blends believable characters with the natural settings of the Texas hill country. The pioneer Texans and the native Comanches are not the Hollywood cardboard cutouts we all grew up watching. At the end, you want more pages. You want to know what comes next for these families. Anthony Whitt, thanks for a great western adventure. Hope the sequel will be out soon.
Aug 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book captured my interest from the beginning and held it throughout. Good plot, character development, vivid and extensive descriptions of land and geography, and many passages with insight into human nature made this an enjoyable book. I am looking forward to the second book.
Rickard Schroeder
Dec 01, 2014 rated it liked it
I got the book a while ago because I discovered the author was from Austin, where I lived in for a while. I thought it was an interesting book, but a bit too slow in the middle for me. Still, it was interesting enough to keep me reading, and I'm considering getting the second one.
Jim Bocko
Dec 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book starts off slow, then gets you hooked on the story and characters and before you know it you've been transported back to the post Civil War days in the Hill Country near Austin Texas. It's a great read.
Ken Roberts
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I grew up in the Hill Country, and Anthony Whitt clearly loves it like I do. His descriptions are vivid. I felt like I was getting a really good view of life on the Texas frontier, the day-to-day, the fears. I commend him for presenting the hate that white settlers felt for the Comanche, and vice-versa. If I have a criticism, it is that the portrayal of the humanity of the Comanche is not as prominent as that of the whites, and they are often objectified. Clearly, space is limited, but one leave ...more
Ash Lingam
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book some weeks ago but was sidetracked with some work and have not had free time till now to truly enjoy a novel from my favorite genre, Westerns. Our author Anthony Whitt, gives us incredible attention to detail as he takes us through nineteenth-century Texas. The character description is vivid bringing the individuals to life and the detail of each scene uncommon, to say the least. I could smell the dirt. A great look at the tough and rugged lives of the early American settlers ...more
Lowell Ross
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Lowell by: goodreads
Shelves: western
great read, getting ready for 2nd of triolgy
Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: misc-read
I won this book through Goodreads. Really interesting and fun western. Lots of love and well developed characters. Great story.
Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Takes me to another place and time, the characters leap off the pages! A real look at the hard times and the people that made Texas what it is!
Eoin Wallace
rated it really liked it
Jan 15, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Mar 19, 2014
rated it really liked it
Jan 31, 2014
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
American Westerns: Free Read to Amazon Prime Members 1 7 Jul 11, 2017 02:16PM  
Goodreads Authors...: Free eBooks to Amazon Prime Members 1 13 Jul 10, 2017 01:04PM  
Writers and Readers : Trilogy Completed! 3 5 Jun 21, 2017 07:29PM  
Connecting Reader...: Trilogy Completed! 1 6 Jun 17, 2017 01:57PM  
Western Authors &...: Trilogy Completed! 3 7 Jun 15, 2017 07:06AM  
The Next Best Boo...: Trilogy Completed! 1 12 Jun 14, 2017 11:21AM  
History Buffs United: Trilogy Completed! 1 5 Jun 13, 2017 03:00PM  

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Anthony Whitt lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Cathy where they raised two children, and currently enjoy their Lhasa Apso, a perpetual puppy. He is a native Austinite that has spent a lifetime studying the rich historical heritage of the American West. He has traveled extensively in the Rocky Mountains with frequent visits to sites of historic interest and tragic conflict. Closer to Austin, h ...more

Other books in the series

Hard Land to Rule Trilogy (3 books)
  • Cold Hard Ride (Hard Land to Rule Trilogy, #2)
  • Into The Hard Hills (Hard Land To Rule Trilogy, #3)