November 11, 2016

Three Years Among the Comanches

I do not usually read westerns, but I decided to try this genre for a change. I settled on Three Years Among the Comanches by Nelson Lee. It tells the account of the author before and after being captured by the Comanche Indians; at the time, Lee was working as a Texas Ranger. In his narrative, Lee describes life in an Indian village with a raw truth, giving out the smallest details of every activity. I found that Nelson Lee had a tendency to ramble on, and I do not particularly like that kind of writing.

Nelson Lee was living a normal yet adventurous life; working for the Rangers required him to always be on the move, but Lee didn't mind. For years, Lee lived this life, traveling from place to place, fighting off Indians and protecting the local settlers. The threat of Indian attack was always on everyone's mind, but with the ever-vigilant Rangers on guard, the fear was minimal. But what happens when the Rangers can't even protect their own? Lee never expected that his companions and he would be attacked by Indians, but they were and in one swift, cruel blow, Lee's companions were either dead or captured and he himself was dragged off as a hostage. Under normal circumstaces, Lee would have been killed immediately, but by the grace of God he possesses the means to protect and maybe even free himself: a small silver watch that he bought only days before his capture. The trinket may intrigue the natives for a short time, but will it keep them transfixed long enough for escape to present itself?

I strongly advise parents to put an age limit on this book, 10 at least. This book contains several accounts of prisoner torture and mass killings, as well as some outright disturbing moments that shocked even me. This was not the best book I have ever reviewed; it tends to take on the form of a history rather than a story. Nelson Lee claims this is a true-to-life account of his life; whether it is or not, this is a pretty good book that I think fans of westerns will enjoy.


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