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The Last Trail (The Ohio River Trilogy #3)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  1,542 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews
A woman is kidnapped from Fort Henry by a band of renegades and hostile Ohio Valley Indians. Now, Lewis Wetzel and Jonathan Zane take pursuit. With no hope of survival, they follow the trail into the unknown wilderness, vowing it to be their last venture. At trail's end, they will face their bloodiest battle.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 15th 1994 by Forge Books (first published 1909)
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Thom Swennes
The Last Trail by Zane Grey is a good example of American literature written in the early part of the last century. Traditions and family values play a large part in daily life. This book distinguishes between two types of frontiersmen, the pioneers and the border men. The first being settlers that move west into the Ohio River valley and the second the men that made the area secure from outlaws and local indignant Indian warriors. Love plays a large role in this story as it has in many stories ...more
Feb 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: westerns
Zane Grey's work leaves me with a feeling of melancholy (in a good way). There is some romantic longing for a way of life which is long gone. Not that they were good old days--I think that life in the settlement days in Ohio were difficult, especially for women. Lots of hard work under poor conditions. Truly, I am glad to be a 21st century person--but the romance of Grey's writing always pulls at my heart strings.
Aug 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Good morning, Colonel Zane, said Helen cheerily, coming into the yard where the colonel was at work. “Did Will come over this way?”
“I reckon you’ll find him if you find Betty,” replied Colonel Zane dryly.
“Come to think of it, that’s true,” Helen said, laughing. “I’ve a suspicion Will rn off from me this morning.”
“He and Betty have gone off nutting.”
Okay, so in contemporary idioms one would suspect that Colonel Zane just said something dirty about Betty and Will. But fear not. Because when
Jan 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: light-reading
Frankly, I was surprised that I enjoyed The Last Trail so much. I have always thought of Grey as a man's writer so I was taken aback at the centrality of the romance in this book. Since it is vintage fiction, there are VERY negative stereotypes of American Indians and also the unfortunate use of the "n" word (once). But it was a rollicking good story.

The women in the book are beautiful (but hardy) and teach Sunday School. The men cuss and kill injuns. But in spite of the stereotypes, the mild cu
Harold Carlson
Apr 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have never read a Zane Grey book before and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. It is also a genre that I have never read before.

I enjoyed the story, the characters, his writing style and how real the story seemed as I was reading it. I am looking forward to reading more books by this author.
Barbra Campbell
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyed it.,

Thoroughly enjoyed it.,

Haven't read Zane Gray in years. This book was like getting reacquainted with an old friend. Highly recommend to anyone who likes to read.
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in the Ohio Valley, just as white settlers were beginning to come together in small settlements near military forts. This was "The West" at the time, and there were skirmishes with Indians and with bad white guys as well. The story revolves around a 16 year old "woman" ("We like to get them married young out here, to build up the population"), who moved into the settlement with her father and cousin. Of course she was beautiful ("those big eyes!"), spunky, and brave. She fell for the strong, ...more
Carlos Abrille
Oct 26, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This story will give you a peek and an idea what it was like to live in the frontier era when settlers were migrating to the west coast to start a new life. The story will burn you out because too many characters were involved and the story moved like a driver in front of you who constantly drives the speed limit, then speeds up for minute and then slows down and repeats the cycle in a perpetual loop, every chapter was like that and became painfully boring. What you'll learn that frontier life w ...more
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
This is the final book in Zane Grey's Ohio River trilogy. I think I like these books better than Grey's Westerns, because they are based around actual historical figures, who were Grey's family ancestors.
D. Norman
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully written love story.
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bit disappointed that the novel took place in the Wheeling area and not the Ohio Territory.
Eleanor Heise
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Last Trail

Interesting concept on how the west was tamed. Didn't care for the attitude of the Indians. They were taken advantage of at that time.
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I fear I may have spoiled Zane Grey for myself by reading the best book first. I've read Riders of the purple sage, then The call of the canyon, and now The last trail. The quality has been in steady decline. Grey's main failing, to my mind, is his inability to create characters that speak for themselves. The protagonists of his novels are not observed so much as constructed to fit a moral framework that the reader is then pressured to apply to the events described. Characters have all the appea ...more
Yume Kitasei
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
It's a shame: I can see how this once was a classic. The story is exciting and the writing skillful. But the characterizations and morality are so horribly outdated, I found this very difficult to get through. The heroine is ridiculous, self-centered, selfish, and silly, and the hero is basically a mass murderer of Indians.

The Last Trail follows a girl who moves out west (Ohio-ish) with her father and cousin to start a new life after one of her many obsessed suitors lost most of her father's mon
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fort Henry is the base location of these three Zane Grey novels (Betty Zane, The Spirit of the Border and The Last Trail). Time period was late 1700’s and the days were filled with animosity between the settlers and Indians. Bordermen were scouts who patrolled all over the area to keep the Indians, renegades and outlaws away. Their method was simply to kill. Rare was an Indian they did not shoot on the spot.
Colonel Ebenezer Zane was in charge of the fort. Family with him was Jonathan Zane, his b
Aug 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I have the 1909 first edition of this book after finding it in a box of some things my Pap was going to put in a yardsale. Bored one summer day when I was about 14-years-old, I started reading and I've loved it ever since. I think I've read it 3 times.

The story takes place on the frontier in modern day West Virginia and Ohio. Helen and her father come to the wilderness to make a life and encounter many dangers, the most frightful being the natives. Jonathan Zane and Lewis Whetzel are two frontie
Jul 17, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure westerns are exactly my genre, but this was kind of fun anyway. Grey obviously loved nature and included lots of description--especially of sunsets. There was a love story at the center, and the heroine was plucky if sometimes annoyingly sassy. The hero was all a hero should be: buff and tireless. He was a borderman--a sort of self-appointed lawman in frontier Ohio. There was a lot of killing going on because the bordermen were, in essence, assassins. They killed outlaws, but they a ...more
Jerry Landry
Jan 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-reads
Due to the dated perspectives and sentiments of the pulp western, this is not a book for everyone. However, though acknowledging but setting aside the sociological objections in order to examine the fictional aspects of it, the fiction is the kind that one can lose oneself in and not think too hard. It does evoke the emotions and generational memories of the wilderness and of being solitary at the edge of civilization as well as the 18th/19th century 'civilizing' ideals. It's not a groundbreakin ...more
Jul 31, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would have given this book four stars except that the reading was terrible. The reader didn't quite use a monotone, but many of the sentences and paragraphs were run-on, giving the impression that the reader didn't quite know the story or how it should be read.

The story itself is quite good. It is a "western" from the perspective of the period immediately following the American War of Independence. It takes place in the area which is now Wheeling, West Virginia. There is a great deal of action
John Lietzke
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review by John Lietzke of The Last Trail

I lied the story took place during the years of the nation. I did not. like the. part about Helen's altitude toward killing a person because that person was known to have killed somebody.
Apr 01, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read "Riders of the Purple Sage" years ago, and liked Zane Grey's style. I'm not a reader of "westerns" but enjoyed his prose and his creation of the strong silent hero. He repeats this in The Last Trail, but sets it on the border of Ohio and West Virginia, when Fort Henry was still in the edge of the wilderness. He also adds in a much stronger element of romance here, as the borderman (a prototype lawman) is tamed himself as he works to tame the wilderness. There is sadly racism at work he ...more
Shawn Jack
This is my second Zane Grey novel and I am surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Grey does a very good job with his story telling. I am impressed with his poetic descriptions of the wild west and with the complexity of the characters. I actually got caught up in the romance part of this story and found myself hoping that the Borderman would be charmed by and marry the new pioneer girl. The story is a good old-fashioned romance, with highly skilled heroes protecting the common folks by battling hor ...more
Julie Barrett
Nov 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Last Trail by Zane Grey
Story of Fort Henry and it's occupants and how some travel there to set up their farm to work it.
Even with the military being there the bordermen can't handle all the corruption of the Indians and their friends.
Helen and her father and nephew have arrived and she's quite put off one of the bordermen won't pay attention to her.
Story takes you to the places the bordermen hunt for those who've stolen the horses and women. You feel like you're there with them as they cra
Richard Ross
Jul 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book for nostalgia, remembering how I loved reading the old Zane Grey stories. I, of course, had forgotten just how racist and one sided these stories were toward the American Indians. Overlooking the "savages" and "Ugh's," which abound, I know that this was a different time when these stories were written.

Still, the glorious descriptions and great plots that represent Zane Grey's stories are all there. In another time, I would have rated it 5 stars.
Mikkel Libby
Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very sensitive story about sensitivity and struggles to find peace and love while maintaining life safety in the early frontier days. Grey is a master teller of the true emotions of the characters trying to maintain their sanity in ruthless savage environment. Johnathans struggles were felt by the reader.

I think Grey lived these struggles in his heart while portraying. I have been told that Grey wept while reading his novels.

Aug 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
The Last Trail is the third in the series (sometimes called the Fort Henry Trilogy, sometimes the Ohio River Trilogy) which gives a fictionalized account of Grey's ancestors on the American frontier during and following the American Revolution. Lots of bloodshed and romance. I loved the vivid, rich descriptions of the natural surroundings. The books were very similar in plot and probably too bloody for some readers, but I guess that's what life was like at the time.
Jan 28, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While it was a good story, because it was written at the turn of the 20th Century (1909) the racism was hard to handle at times. Fortunately,there wasn't a lot, but his descriptions of Native Americans made me cringe quite a bit. I'll probably sell this book. I don't think I want to keep it in my library.
Lisa Rathbun
I haven't read this in ages, but it was on my shelf as a young teen and I reread it many times. I loved the history and the adventure. This book seemed to portray a darker world than a lot of the books I was used to reading at the time ("Anne of Green Gables," for example) and I found the heroism in facing great odds very compelling. Also I love historical fiction.
Richard Evans
Mar 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While written in a simple, straight-forward manner, this classic novel does a fantastic job of giving you a real glimpse into how life was on the frontier. There is no government, no political correctness and no laws. The only thing standing between order and chaos were the frontiersmen, Jonathan and Wetzel, two of the baddest men to walk the wilderness.
Jan 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a person who does not read Westerns, I found this book moderately enjoyable--even a page turner at times. What I liked most about the book were the descriptions of the landscape. I love the outdoors, so I enjoyed visualizing what was being described. There was enough action in this book to keep me interested, and even a little bit of romance, for those who like a little love story.
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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.
More about Zane Grey...

Other Books in the Series

The Ohio River Trilogy (3 books)
  • Betty Zane
  • The Spirit of the Border

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