“I can’t say enough about this wonderful book. You get under your characters’ skins in a way that puts everyone on the New York Times list to shame.”
Loren D. Estleman,
2002 President of Western Writers of America
and author of Something Borrowed, Something Black.
“Only a writer possessed of extraordinary talent and heart could tell such as story as this. Lucia St. Clair Robson is that writer. The legend of Lozen, the Apache military leader and healer who just happens to be a woman, unfolds effortlessly in this most impressive work of historical literature. With humor, intelligence, and relentless realism, Robson paints a remarkable portrait of an amazing individual.”
author of Comanche Dawn
“Lucia St. Clair Robson has written an epic novel. GHOST WARRIOR evokes the life of a Native American woman who at last, and rightly so, takes her place in history. The characters are memorably drawn, the narrative resonates with the truth of time and place, and Lozen, warrior and shaman, leads her people in a valiant fight against injustice. GHOST WARRIOR will compel readers to read on and on… late into the night.”
author of Gentlemen Rogue and Hickok and Cody.
“Lucia St. Clair Robson has an uncanny gift for finding people whom history has forgotten, and bringing them to unforgettable life. GHOST WARRIOR is told with innate understanding of its many colorful characters and a wealth of authentic detail.”
author of 1921
“Summertime and the readin’ is easy. Among history’s freedom fighters, Lucia St. Clair Robson of Annapolis bids us not to forget the Apaches. In her new novel, Ghost Warrior (Forge, 749 pages, $27.95), she arms us and mounts us for one more raid on the Pale Eyes moving into the ancestral southwestern homeland, in the later 1800s. We know very well who’s going to win in the end; but watching the evil deeds of Mexicans on the lower side of an invisible boundary and the imbecilities of U.S. military commanders on the upper side, we flinch.
The Dineh, or the People, as Robson speaks of them, live by a code of their own, in which marauding, ambushing and plundering are standard occupations. (Is it more moral for them to be rounded up, confined to a reservation and told to farm arid Arizona desert, as did happen?)
Among the Apaches were the celebrities Cochise, Victorio and Geronimo, and a woman named Lozen, who here has not only the gift of divination, but also outdoor skills equal to most men’s.
Robson invents a white settler, Rafe Collins, or Hairy Foot (he wears socks, which he makes from buffalo fur). Lozen is attracted, but romance is impeded by her equally passionate desire to steal Rafe’s horse.
Robson’s at pains to reconstruct Apache food, clothing, games, surroundings and folkways (which means recurrent, lethal blood and guts). But amid the research, and all that action, her Apaches are distinctive individuals. With this one, Robson goes national: Larry McMurtry and Tony Hillerman have endorsed her book. Let us do better, joining in the tribal dance and whooping it up for Ghost Warrior.”
The Baltimore Sun
Review by James H. Bready: 7/14/02
“Seventh in Robson’s phosphorescently magnificent gallery of forgotten women whom she’s dug up God knows where —even as far off as feudal Japan in THE TOKAIDO ROAD. In the brook-clear historical fiction of FEARLESS she tells the fact-based story of Sarah Bourginnes Bowman, six-foot with cayenne hair, who becomes an Army woman with Zachary Taylor and follows him through battle after battle in the Southwest. In MARY’S LAND we are drawn into the timeless bravery of Margaret Brent in the settling of Maryland as she oversees tobacco crops, balances a household, and keeps a weather eye on the parliament. Now Robson has discovered Lozen, unmarried sister of Chiricahua Apache chief Victorio. Blessed with horse magic and the gifts of healing and far-sight (she can see enemies farther off than anyone else), she becomes not only the legendary and battle-hardened woman fighter of the Apaches, but Victorio’s wise counselor as well as his veritable right hand until his death, when she joins Geronimo. The Chiricauhuas are against everybody and at war with the universe, a wonderful people who bear great names: Talks A Lot, Ears So Big, He Steals Love, Flies In His Soup, and Flattened Penis.
Don’t miss the immensely amusing chapter “Rear Guard,” in which the Apaches lift their breechclouts, “presenting their attackers with a long row of bare, brown backsides. They beat a tattoo on them, all the while hooting and shouting insults.”
A great main character, immense moral tragedy, all sung with full lungs.”
March 1, 2002 of Ghost Warrior: Lozen of the Apaches
“This is the story of Lozen, an Apache woman, shaman, healer, horse thief and warrior who had the unique distinction of being allowed to fight alongside Geronimo, Victorio, and Cochise in the struggle against both the forces of the United States and Mexico. Lozen had been called the Apache Joan of Arc because of her visions warning of an approaching enemy, thus allowing the Apaches to prepare to fight or hide. While there are similarities between these two women, I personally found the comparison a little tenuous.
The story is based around two characters, Lozen and Rafe Collins, a white civilian working for the U.S. Army, whose paths cross on many occasions. Over the years they develop a mutual trust and respect for each other, which deepens with their shared experiences, as fate throws them together. However, this is definitely not a love story. It is essentially a story of two sharply contrasting cultures neither of which has any understanding of the other.
The book is well researched and while it describes the genocide practiced by both the Mexican and US authorities, the author also details the savage reprisals carried out the the Apaches. There is a great deal of violence, but those looking for a ‘shoot ’em up’ western will be disappointed. However, if you want a novel which gives a unique insight into a part of the Native American history, then this book is for you.”
The Historical Novels Review
Issue 25 Aug. 2003
- Very insightful review by DancingBadger.com
- One frequent comment we’ve been hearing concerns Rafe’s love and knowledge of Shakespeare: for some background on this topic, here’s a link to a 1998 article, once posted on Smithsonian Magazine called “How the Bard Won the West” by Jennifer Lee Carrell.
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