Swords, lances, bows and arrows, clubs, cannon—weapons of war fill the "Warriors of History" series, which seems designed to capture the attention of boys who may be reluctant to read, but are well-attuned to the constant violence and bloodshed of films, games, and the daily news. Each volume introduces a military organization or cult in four chapters, including at least one gruesome incident for thrill value. Some of the volumes are better than others, some contain mistakes—all offer unattributed illustrations (a major fault of this series), ranging from modern photographs and movie stills to period prints or paintings. In Comanche Warriors, chapters describe Comanche life on the Great Plains, training of boys and horses, weapons, and the final loss of the Comanche's independence. Text, though abbreviated, is correct, although the author fails to mention Comanche cruelty to captives and enemies. Readers will learn about the tribe's dependence on the buffalo, as well as the story of able Comanche leader and negotiator Quanah Parker, whose mother was a white captive. Most of the selected prints are appropriate for the text, except for one depicting a "war party" that includes several women and white men; a striking contemporary photograph of Chief Parker shows a handsome and dignified man. Although this volume introduces Comanche warfare, for more complete cultural information, readers should see Raymond Bial's The Comanche (Benchmark, 2000). Parents and teachers will need to decide whether a series focusing on war, violence and cruelty is appropriate for their children's classrooms. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
Mary Englar is a freelance writer and a teacher of English and creative writing. She has a master of fine arts degree in writing from Minnesota State University, and has written more than 30 nonfiction books for children. She continues to read and write about the many different cultures of our world in Minnesota.