In 1812, as the fledgling United States is drawn into war, the fate of the far west hinges on Manuel Lisa and his trading expedition up the Missouri River. An intimate of the Burr conspiracy, the condemned John Tylor, signs on as boatman. But lurking i
About the Author
W. Michael Gear is a New York Times, USA Today, and international best-selling author with over 17 million copies in print worldwide. His books have been translated into 29 languages. A Spur Award winning author, his western fiction has been taught in university courses in both Western literature and anthropology. Gear lives on a remote Wyoming ranch where he raises trophy-winning bison with his wifeauthor Kathleen O'Neal Geartwo shelties, and a flock of wild turkeys.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Flight of the Hawk: The River (A Novel of the American West #1) by W. Michael Gear Flight of the Hawk is the first book in a trilogy that will lead those fans that favor the Michael Gear’s Richard Hamilton books on another Manifest Destiny/ Frontier adventure. They will have an intellectual immersion into American History and the past they dream about. All the aspects of the original Coyote Summer and Morning River are present. Michael Gear has a way to describing that would astound most readers, you not only see but feel the muck and detritus that the characters slog through in the opening pages of the book. You can almost smell the city of St Louis. Not a smell I would recommend. You will deeply understand the danger and adventure of the characters as they engage on a trading adventure. The book shows the struggles of the rivermen from the engages to the leaders of the trading empire. The engages are light hearted men who sings brawny songs, and finds peace in pole and rope like, Baptiste Latoulipe. Then there is Manuel Lisa the leader of the Missouri Fur Company. The Missouri Fur Company was the American trading company that built a trading empire along the Missouri river in the early 1800’s. Manuel Lisa many dreams and aspirations that are being challenged or encroached upon by many sides. John Taylor the lead character is a learned man finds little delight in songs, and thoughts of simple things. The past haunts John Taylor, Hallie, his estranged wife is the focus of his dreams, and she is who haunts him because of his mistakes of the past. All his love spurred because of his rival. He has backed the wrong horse, and has nothing to show for it, just the ashes of the empire he dreamed about in his hands. Grey Bear is a brave of the Shoshoni that is struggling to save his people. He has a dream about a way to save his people, but he has to risk everything to save them. Setting up the intrigue who is John Taylor? What is his motivation for joining the expedition that might be the last hope of the Missouri Fur Company? Will they control the river? Or will they find a way to connect to the native population for trading? This book makes all the important character descriptions that will hook the audience. Fabulous Job Michael Gear as always.
With talk of a coming war with England, Manuel Lisa, an experienced trader, is in St. Louis preparing his river expedition for a dangerous journey on the Upper Missouri. While there, a ragged man with an odd air of quality about him, comes to see Lisa in hopes of joining his keelboat mission. John Tylor has intentionally sought out Manuel Lisa after hearing rumors of the planned expedition. Tylor is well spoken and knowledgeable, which is completely out of character given his scruffy appearance. He applies for any available work and is ready to start immediately. Lisa hires Tylor under doubtful eye, sending men to spy on Tylor before the expedition begins. The most disturbing secret he uncovers? John Tylor has books, and he reads! (Gotta love it!) For the times and the given conditions, it is a curious activity for any engage or hired man, especially one dressed in tattered clothing lacking personal hygiene. Suspecting Tylor is a spy, Lisa widens his search for information on this enigma of a man, but cannot find a reason to dismiss him. Tylor soon sets sail with the Lisa expedition where a realistic account of life on the river in 1812 is handed to the reader on a silver platter. Native American clashes, British war threats, mosquitos, and murder plague the expedition, but when a letter written by Andrew Jackson is sent upriver, Tylor's life and his head earn a price tag. This is a rare glimpse into the world of rivermen and fur traders in America. History buffs and historical fiction readers should snap up this story not only for the pure enjoyment of reading a realistic tale, but also for the historical facts and accuracy of a time period often overlooked. Flight of the Hawk: The River caught my attention after falling in love with another frontier book by this author, Morning River, which was first released in the mid-90s. (I am still aghast that a movie hasn't been made out that fabulous book!) W. Michael Gear portrays this true-to-history life so well that his vivid descriptions and realistic dialogue pick you up and set you down on the banks of the Missouri. His expertise and talent for delving into the heart of the American frontier, especially the fur trade, is simply unbeatable!