A Long Trail Rolling by Lizzi Tremayne.
I was so glad to read this High School/Young adult novel because it embraced two of my favourite genre, westerns and romance, but it is a lot more than that with the author herself describing it as historical/adventure fiction.
Set in the Utah Territory of the 1860’s it is about an 18 year old immigrant Polish girl named Aleksandra who disguises herself as a boy and becomes a rider on the Pony Express, a job advertised only for skinny, young, expert riders, preferably orphans.
Before this happens her father is murdered by a Cossack henchman of the Czar of Russia called Vladimir who has followed Aleksandra and her family to America because they possess an elixer made from a plant found on the Steppes that not only treats depression but gives the user incredible stamina and strength. The Czar wants it for his cavalrymen and Aleksandra’s father, Krzysztof, refuses to turn it over.
Before this all happens Aleksandra and her family had become bloodbrothers with a Shoshone Indian tribe after rescuing the Chief’s son and that same son now wants to take Aleksandra for his wife. Circumstances between the Indians and the settlers deteriorated and the union unbeknown to Aleksandra, cannot take place.
Meanwhile Aleksandra after the murder of her father sought help at a trading post and had her heart go boom boom boom at the sight of the hunky but emotionally damaged Xavier. Will the men conflict over this young damsel in distress?
It is all set up for a wild time on the Pony Express. The last 100 pages are thrilling.
Well told by Lizzi Tremayne who not only tells a credible story but describes America when it’s environment was in pristine condition. It will make a green drool with envy. The descriptions of the Utah territory and the Great Salt Lake are breathtaking.
I loved reading this novel and you will to but don’t expect to read “head em off at the pass” or “this town ain’t big enough for the both of us”. Plenty of horse talk though and exciting encounters with the Indians.