After discovering six gold Roman coins buried in the mud of the Devil’s Dyke, Barnabas Sackett enthusiastically invests in goods that he will offer for trade in America. But Sackett has a powerful enemy: Rupert Genester, nephew of an earl, wants him dead. A battlefield promise made to Sackett’s father threatens Genester’s inheritance. So on the eve of his departure for America, Sackett is attacked and thrown into the hold of a pirate ship. Genester’s orders are for him to disappear into the waters of the Atlantic. But after managing to escape, Sackett makes his way to the Carolina coast. He sees in the raw, abundant land the promise of a bright future. But before that dream can be realized, he must first return to England and discover the secret of his father’s legacy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In Sackett's Land, we meet the first ancestor of the future Sackett clan to be immortalized in narrative. Englishman Barnabas Sackett gets in a bit of trouble in his homeland and sets off to the West to make a new home. This is really what L'Amour is all about, not "the West," per se, but "the Frontier." Discovery of new lands and finding a life in the wide open spaces. Sackett sails over the ocean and lands in what will become America. His trials and struggles make for highly interesting reading and L'Amour's sense for detail gives one a true feeling for what it must have been like back then. The most compelling of the series, and fine introduction to the First Family of frontier fiction.
While I believe that I have read most of the Sackett novels, this first one was always my favorite. It is definately the most unusual of the series, indeed, of anything that I've read by Louis L'Amour. Set in 1599, it is the story of Barnabas Sackett, founder of the Sackett clan in the New World. The Sacketts were fenmen (swamp men) eeking out an existance farming the little good land available to them, fishing for eels, smuggling, or going off to fight in the wars. It was the combination of the chance finding of a cache of Roman gold, along with a fight with an arrogant aristocrat, that put young Barnabas on the road to "adventure." Fleeing to London, he meets the contacts that he will need to set sail for a new world and a new life. The sword fights, pirates, and sea battles that follow are not what you expect in a "western", but they are quite good never-the-less. Upon surviving to reach America (after Roanoke, but before Jamestown) Barnabas rapidly...
No matter where you started with the Sackett books, go ahead and read this one now. For fans of L'Amour's work, especially The Walking Drum, you will be pleased.
Sackett's Land is a good and appropriate beginning for the entire saga. It may well stimulate you to read the whole history in order.
The book is important for yet another reason. It's style and depth are a window to what The Walking Drum has in store for you. Sackett's Land hints at what L'Amour was capable of beyond the pulp western market.
When we pick up a Louis L'Amour book of the standard pulp market size, we have a set of expectations. Good and evil will be clearly recognizable. Good will prevail. The story will be enjoyable and just instructive enough to make us feel that we grew from reading the book. Sackett's Land fulfills all these expectations.
Sackett's Land also holds an interesting place in popular literature. It is representation of a specific family (along with...
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