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Reviewed by Steve Leshin for Readers' Favorite
Born to the Badge - Wyatt Earp, An American Odyssey, Book 2 by Mark Warren is a tribute to its author as a well researched telling of the years when Wyatt Earp began a career as a lawman in the Old West towns of Wichita and Dodge City, Kansas up to his eventual journey to Tombstone, Arizona. Covering the years 1874 through 1879, Born to the Badge is the second book in a series about this extraordinary man, Wyatt Earp. This is a Western novel to be sure and author Mark Warren does an excellent job in capturing Wyatt from his late twenties through early thirties.
It is not easy to portray a historical character like Wyatt Earp. As an author who has used Wyatt as a character in my own writing, I had to read a lot of books and articles about Wyatt before I could write about him as a flesh and blood character. My Wyatt is an older, more urban ex-lawman. In Born to the Badge, Mark Warren does a thorough study of a younger man. In the mid to late 1870s setting, Warren covers Wyatt’s beginnings as a deputy in Wichita, his first encounter with Mattie Blaylock, his second wife, his relationship with his older brother James, and how he met Doc Holliday. I especially like the way Wyatt handles Clay Allison as well as his decision making later on when he has had enough of Wichita and Dodge City. The dialogue rings true for that time period in the 1870s and the reader will get to know the Wyatt Earp in history rather than the TV or movie character. An enjoyable read for anyone interested in Wyatt Earp and the Old West.