Book Review: The Sparrows of Montenegro

 

      

THE SPARROWS OF MONTENEGRO
by
BJ MAYO

Categories: Western / Historical Fiction / Texas
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Date of Publication: February 8, 2022
Number of Pages: 312 pages 

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Tree “Bigfoot” Smith and Cedar Jones first meet on the day they join the US Cavalry’s Fourth Cavalry Regiment based out of the Historic Fort Concho in what is now San Angelo, Texas, in 1870.

Their journey takes them into the heart of the dangerous Llano Estacado region known as the Comancheria. The area is ruthlessly defended by a band of Quahadi Comanche and their stoic leader, Lonely Horse. The Troop encounters a large group of Comanches and the gun-running Comancheros at Mushaway Mountain, close to Gail, Texas. A quick battle ensues that leaves eight men dead.

Post Cavalry life finds Tree Smith and Cedar Jones as cowhand and cook on the large Rolling J cattle ranch in South Texas bordering the Rio Grande River. The ranch employs two Vaqueros from the village of Montenegro in Mexico, just across the river, whom Tree befriends.

The quiet life on the Rolling J ranch is brought to an abrupt halt when a local sheriff warns that a band led by the cold-blooded, sadistic killer known as Gato Montes has been preying on the ranches along the Rio Grande. After the sheriff is nearly killed by these men, Tree is tasked with tracking them down, only this time, he is traveling alone and the dangers are greatly multiplied. His epic journey takes him back into the Llano Estacado where he is captured by Lonely Horse and taken to Mushaway Mountain where the Comanche carry out their own form of frontier justice.

Tree’s return journey puts him on the same path as Marco, a Mexican goat herder, who rides with him to the Mexican Village of Montenegro, where Tree meets Julia, who changes his life forever after he becomes involved in and bears witness to the wonderful celebration of Dia de los Muertos.


Our story starts off a bit slow paced and took me a little to really get into the story. But after the first couple of chapters, the story picks up as well as the characters can grab hold of our attention. 

I found myself enjoying getting to know Tree. He was an interesting character with his calm by nature but still in the military type of personality. He was smart, and a good character to follow around in the story. We also get to witness his juxtaposition to Montes throughout the story. Montes is another well written main antagonist. We understand him to be the bad guy, but we also see how he came to be born in his village that never accepted him, which makes us feel sorry for him, even though his ugly behaviour. 

The author also does a great job of connecting the storyline through our supporting characters. There was no point while reading where I felt lost or something was out of place. Everything flowed well and stayed consistent throughout our story.

Overall, I give our story a 4 out of 5. Took a little for the story to pick up, but when it did, you were glad you kept going. The characters are well written as well as the main and side storylines. The Sparrows of Montenegro is a story that is as well written as its detailed and beautiful cover. Until next time, Happy Reading!


PRAISE FOR THE BOOK:

“I could not put this one down. Mayo has masterfully written a character-driven page-turner, a compelling tale for the reader who seeks something more than the stereotypical western novel.” Ron Schwab, author of Goldsmith and the Law Wranglers series

"This mild-mannered west Texas rancher has woven a border tapestry using yarns made of unimaginable horror and sweet innocence." Tumbleweed Smith, author of Under the Chinaberry Tree

"A thoroughly enjoyable read—a cowboy's trail you'll want to follow, with a memorable cast of characters, renegades, soldiers, lawmen, and simple folks, and a hero that you'll want more of." John J. Jacobson, author of All the Cowboys Ain't Gone


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LaRae Russell Photography 

BJ Mayo was born in an oil field town in Texas. His career in the energy industry took him to various points in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Louisiana, Alabama, Bangladesh, Australia, and Angola, West Africa.

 

He and his wife were high school sweethearts and have been married for forty-six years. They live on a working farm near San Angelo, Texas.



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Comments

  1. If it's as well-written inside as the cover is beautiful outside, then readers are surely in for a treat. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Happy reading, indeed!

    ReplyDelete

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