The second book in the Sackett series, To the Far Blue Mountains begins where Sackett’s Land leaves off: after the adventures of Barnabas Sackett as he attempts to make a new life in a New World.
The Main Body:
As the book begins, Barnabas has traveled back to his home country of England from America to settle his business affairs. While there he learns that Queen Elizabeth has sworn out a warrant for his arrest and her representatives are searching for him in every port city. The problem stems from the fact that Barnabas possesses some ancient Roman coins that he found on his own land, but his enemies are accusing him of stealing them.
After being forced to return to the New World, Barnabas quickly realizes that the long arm of the Queen reaches even across the Atlantic Ocean, and the only way to escape it is by moving West. The rest of the book chronicles the travels of Barnabas and his courageous wife Abigail as they explore the area south of Plymouth and north of Jamestown. They are aided by friendly native people and face the hardships of nature with strength and perseverance.
Since few novels attempt to cover this part of American history, To the Far Blue Mountains provides as interesting look at the wild land we now know as the Appalachian Mountain region. L’Amour does a good job of describing the scenery and untamed natural features of this area, as it was when Europeans first visited it. Barnabas and Abigail are totally developed as characters full of heart and a spirit of adventure.
It is easy to predict that their fictional descendants, written about in the rest of the Sackett series, will be worthy heroes in their own right.
Most students of history will find little to criticize about the details in the story, as the author obviously conducted thorough research before writing. There are plenty of plot twists and the nearly non-stop action that Louis L’Amour fans have grown to expect. Listening to this epic tale is a great way to make the hours spent traveling or exercising fly by.
John Curless does a good job of capturing Barnabas’ integrity and quick-thinking intelligence. He is proficient with the British accents that are necessary for some of the characters, and is even credible when reading Abigail’s feminine dialog. His rich baritone lends a special credence to the action scenes. All in all, To the Far Blue Mountains stands as one of my favorites in the Sackett series.