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Far Bright Star
Far Bright Star (Paperback)
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Indie Next ListJune 2009
Napoleon Childs, a veteran soldier, is on the hunt for Pancho Villa in the rough terrain of northern Mexico. Accompanying him is a group of young soldiers who have not yet seen the brutality of war. After a terrible encounter with a band of renegade soldiers in search of vengeance, Napoleon, beaten and shot, is left stranded to try to survive on his own. Olmstead is incredibly adept at describing the horrors of battle contrasted with the beauty of reflection and hope, and he is at his best in Far Bright Star. -- Sherri Gallentine, Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, CA
The year is 1916. The enemy, Pancho Villa, is elusive. Terrain is unforgiving. Through the mountains and across the long dry stretches of Mexico, Napoleon Childs, an aging cavalryman, leads an expedition of inexperienced horse soldiers on seemingly fruitless searches. Though he is seasoned at such missions, things go terribly wrong, and his patrol is suddenly at the mercy of an enemy intent on their destruction. After witnessing the demise of his troops, Napoleon is left by his captors to die in the desert.
Through him we enter the conflicted mind of a warrior as he tries to survive against all odds, as he seeks to make sense of a lifetime of senseless wars and to reckon with the reasons a man would choose a life on the battlefield. Olmstead, an award-winning writer, has created a tightly wound novel that is as moving as it is terrifying.