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Beyond the Goodnight Trail


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A Western where the action springs off the page, you'll find yourself sucked deep into the heart and history of Texas.

In “Beyond The Goodnight Trail,” Roy V Gaston brings real Texas history to life in an action-packed Western. Sure, it features all of the traditional elements one expects to see in such a tale, with bar room brawls, smoking gun fights, and even an amazing buffalo mating ritual. 

But it also presents the idea, which according to the author is true, that there were Black and Black Seminole cowboys, among other types. To a person who is relatively lacking in knowledge of Texas history, this revelation is fascinating. 

The story starts with Pete Horse, the character from whose first-person perspective it is told, as he engages with Comanche Indians in a gunfight. It results in the 1860 recapturing of a woman who became known as “the White Squaw,” as she had lived for many years with those Comanche and thus had little desire to move back among White people. 

From there, we jump ahead to 1866, the year in which most of the events take place. We follow Charlie Goodnight, for whom the trail was named as can be seen in the book’s title, as he and his band of cowboys and rangers herd cattle from the open plains of Texas into New Mexico to be given to Navajo so that they might not starve. Not surprisingly, mistrust has developed because of the way these Indians— Navajo, Comanche and otherwise— have been treated by the U.S. government and other groups claiming to wish to help. But in the end a grudging friendship and a need to vanquish a common foe unite them. 

 As something of a skeptic when it comes to Westerns, I just always assumed I would not be able to get into them, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, though. The descriptions of man and nature provided within these pages sweep me far away from modern surroundings and remind me, and probably us all, of our basic instinct to survive at whatever cost. In addition, the characters, most of whom were real or at least heavily based on real individuals, conveyed so much depth and emotion, not all of it positive of course. It is a relatively short novel that manages to pack epic wallop. I would recommend it to anyone who thinks he or she might have at least a passing interest in knowing a little about Texas history, or who is open to seeing this genre in a slightly nuanced way. 

Reviewed by

‪An avid reader, I have consumed books of many genres. I have reviewed several on my blog, including a few author requests because they know of my potential to reach varied audiences. I also do mini-reviews via Twitter and tag the author if available. ‬

The Pease River

About the author

I'm am an author and history fanatic, mostly around the American Civil War and the American West of the mid to late 1800s. I have published two novels, How Can a Man Die Better and Beyond the Goodnight Trail. view profile

Published on October 11, 2020

80000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Action & Adventure

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