The Landon Saga, Book 5

Fiction - Western
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 01/08/2015
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Brenda Casto for Readers' Favorite

Yancy by Tell Cotten is the latest installment in The Landon Saga. This book focuses mainly on Yancy with a side spotlight on Cooper Landon. Yancy has been a lawman most of his life, with his latest job as peacekeeper being in Midway, Texas. Politics have changed though and now he finds himself forced to run for the office of sheriff, instead of just being appointed. When his older brother Cooper learns a young boy has been kidnapped by the Apache, he vows to rescue him and, of course, Yancy isn't going to let him go alone. Will Yancy be elected sheriff and how will he and Cooper ever outsmart an old Indian enemy?

It's no wonder Tell Cotten is an award winning author; his writing style is smooth and easy to read, and he always leaves me wanting to read more about his characters! His way with words easily gets me into the mindset of the time period, allowing me to imagine the dangers that seemed to lurk at each turn. He also captures the ideal that it took a special kind of man to be a lawman and he creates that special man with Yancy. The entire Landon clan seems to have a propensity for doing what's right, even though it's usually far from easy. I found it amusing that Yancy seemed to get tongue tied when he was around a certain female, and I can only hope that perhaps someday he will finally get his girl. Mr. Cotten does a wonderful job of balancing a tightly woven, sometimes tense plot with the right amount of witty banter between the characters to provide a bit of levity to lighten the mood, something that makes his writing seem very realistic. I found more than a few laugh out loud moments where Cooper and his wife Josie were concerned, especially when it came to her cooking and healing skills.The mention of the Texas Rangers really left me wanting to learn more about their inception, something I hadn't really thought about until reading Yancy.

I have read several of the books in the Landon series and have to say I love the recurring mention of Jug-Head. While the author provides enough background information that this book could be read alone, I highly recommend reading the series in order so that you get a greater understanding of the characters. I admit I somehow missed the last book, but plan on remedying that situation right away. Anyone looking for an engaging western read that provides great characters, more than a bit of danger and a plot that will pull you right back to the days when the west was still untamed should check out Tell Cotten's series, The Landon Saga.

Jack Magnus

Yancy is Book 5 of Tell Cotten's The Landon Saga. Yancy and his brother, Cooper, had settled in Midway, Texas, where Yancy was the sheriff until the police force there was disbanded after Governor Coke's election. The townspeople decided to hold an election, and Yancy found himself competing for the position with Sergeant Wagons, who, unlike Yancy, campaigned vigorously for the position. Judge Parker has other plans for Yancy and Cooper; however, he's focusing his attention on Ike Nash, a corrupt and wealthy man who's been trading rifles to the Indians. Parker wants the two brothers to join the newly reorganized Texas Rangers and help him destroy Nash's operation.

Tell Cotten's The Landon Saga is an exciting and fast-paced historically based Western series, and Yancy, Book 5, brilliantly continues the story of the two Landon brothers. While the author gives enough background information to make this novel stand alone, this series really should be read in sequence. I've read each of the preceding stories and settling in to read Yancy felt like getting back in touch with some old friends and seeing how they were doing. Cotten's characters are the genuine article, and their attitude towards the necessary violence in their lives sets them apart from the villains they encounter. I particularly enjoyed the touches of humor found in Yancy, as the two set out on their mission for Judge Parker. Will snakes avoid a rope coiled around someone's bedroll at night? I'll have to try it out on my next camping trip. The Landon Saga will have readers who don't particularly care for Westerns rethinking their views on the genre and Western fans waiting avidly for each installment. Yancy, Book 5 of The Landon Saga, will not disappoint them. It's most highly recommended.

Paul Johnson

In Yancy by Tell Cotten, Yancy Landon has always led a simple but not necessarily safe life. For most of his adulthood he’s been a lawman. That’s all he’s ever wanted to be. He believes in living with a certain code and always does the right thing according to that code, no matter the cost. His brother Cooper Landon comes to him, determined to find and rescue a young boy captured by Apaches. As usual, Yancy doesn't hesitate to help. But first they have to figure out a way to get it done. Their final plan is to make a trade for the boy. But, what do they have to trade? There is a simple solution. Take over a shipment of trade goods from some low life criminals, assume their identities, and head for the Apache camp. If it could only be that simple. Along their journey, they get caught up in survival, revenge, death, injury, relationship differences, and the code of honor. And of course, there’s always Jug-head, the mule.

Tell Cotten has another winner here with Yancy, Book 5 in the continuing Landon Saga. Tell has a simple but effective writing style using short chapters that keeps the reader’s interest and moves the story along at a rapid pace. He has created no-nonsense western characters with expert dialogue, just as we’d expect them to be. For me, the characters were down to earth and very likable, and I’ve grown to really enjoy reading about and identifying with all of them. Yancy is a thoroughly enjoyable western story.

Valerie Rouse

Yancy is a tale about two brothers who are Texas Rangers. Yancy Landon and his brother Cooper originated from the small town of Midway. Yancy was a firm upholder of the law. He served previously as a policeman in Texas and was even promoted to Captain. They met a married couple and their child journeying to California. Unfortunately, days later, Yancy and Cooper discovered that Indians had killed the couple and abducted their son Wyatt. Yancy and Cooper made the decision to go after the Indians and rescue Wyatt. Their assignment was to track down two known crooks, kill them and assume their identities. The plan was to use the loot the crooks were carrying to trade with the Indians in exchange for Wyatt. Will this plan work?

Yancy is an enjoyable book. From the beginning, author Tell Cotten infused each chapter with humorous lines and scenarios. I continued smirking long after I read the initial chapters. This tactic is very smart as it encourages the reader to dig deeper into the plot. The language used in the novel is colloquial and the average reader can understand it. I love the fact that the author chose to have short chapters. This really encourages the reader to become more engrossed in the storyline and feel as though he/she is making progress with his/her reading. I love the author’s spin on the proverbial Indians vs. cowboys theme. The main character is very magnetic in this novel. The author did an excellent job developing his persona. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Yancy. I recommend it to all lovers of westerns.

Eileen Johnson

In the prologue to Yancy: Book Five in the Landon Saga by Tell Cotten, we meet the Waldens, a farmer and his wife headed west to start a new life. They stop in Midway to buy another mule from Cooper Landon. Cooper, brother to Yancy, sells them Jughead the mule for one dollar and sends them on their way. When Jughead shows up several days later with a broken lead rope, Cooper enlists his brother Yancy to help him return the mule to the Waldens. Yancy is an ex-lawman who is running for Sheriff in Midway. This is one of the underlying story lines that keep this book interesting. The brothers decide that the right thing to do is return the mule to the family. When they finally come upon the wagon, they find Mr. Walden dead and his wife dying. She tells them that the marauding Indians took their son Wyatt and the brothers pledge to find him. So begins the adventure.

Yancy: Book Five in the Landon Saga by Tell Cotten is a Solstice western in the tradition of the westerns of Max Brand and Louis L'Amour. Although this is the fifth in the series, Yancy stands on its own and you do not have to read the first four before this one. However, now that I have read the fifth, there were references to previous events that make me want to go back and read the first four! Well-developed characters and plenty of action make me highly recommend Yancy to anyone looking for a book in the western genre.