The Landon Saga, Book 11

Fiction - Western
195 Pages
Reviewed on 03/08/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite

Winchester (The Landon Saga Book 11) is an authentic western yarn and though it is the eleventh in a series, it stands alone as a great read. Winchester, a cousin to Rondo and Yancy, has left Texas and is an army scout in New Mexico, looking for No Worries and the location of his Indian camp. As he is traveling through the mountains, he comes across a young Indian girl, Secora, who is stranded without a horse and suffering from a broken leg. Winchester helps her and the two become unlikely friends as they are a white man and an Indian girl, and since it is his army assignment to find her tribe and report their whereabouts to the army. Winchester finds himself in trouble fighting the bad guys, dealing with the Indians and just trying to survive. The ending has a twist which I will not spoil by revealing it here.

Tell Cotten has once again written an excellent story, pulling me into the action, making the characters real and old friends. I have read several of the other books in this series and each one has been a favorite. Winchester has everything a reader of the western genre could possibly hope for and more. I am looking forward to number twelve in the series and know I will not be disappointed. Winchester is a must-read at the top of my reading list status. If you enjoy a story with strong characters, romance, friendship, the Old West, and excitement, then please don’t pass this one up – you will not be sorry. Tell Cotten's Landon Series is five-star quality.

Stefan Vucak

Make a wrong decision and you’re dead. Pick the right one, you just might live another day. That was August Landon’s (aka Winchester) take on life in the West. In his late twenties, he had done lots of things: soldier, cowpuncher, wagon train trail boss, shotgun rider…even a lawman. He doesn’t talk much, letting his fists and gun do that for him. His current job is to find the camp of the Apache war chief No Worries and live... He comes across the footprints of a lone Indian and decides to follow them. What he finds is Secora, a beautiful young Indian woman with a broken leg. He treats her and makes camp. She tells him that three men tortured her to reveal the location of No Worries' camp, but she managed to escape. Winchester does not have much food and heads for a nearby trading post. Afterward, he will take her to No Worries' camp. Winchester is attracted to Secora, his feelings mixed. She tells him that No Worries is her brother, which creates an entirely new problem for him. In the morning, as they are getting ready to leave, No Worries and a band of Indians confront him. To save him, Secora tells her brother that Winchester is her husband. All his previous worries pale in the face of this development.

In Winchester, Tell Cotten spins a delightfully short tale of a traditional tall, silent cowboy. Winchester is basically a drifter, living from day to day, not knowing what tomorrow will bring, or what his future has in store for him. When he finds Secora, his feelings for her cause him to reflect on his aimless life, even considering whether there might be a future for them. But she is an Indian, and he a white man, and the two could never mix. Winchester regrets that, but he is set in his ways and doesn’t know how to bridge the divide with Secora. I found Winchester a very easy read as Tell Cotten relates his story in simple, down to earth sentences which reflect the book’s characters and, to an extent, the wild West atmosphere. This book holds promise of much more if the author had brought more depth into his characters and story, and produced a more fulfilling ending. However, even a glimpse into what might have been will leave most readers of this genre very satisfied.

Jane Finch

Winchester by Tell Cotton is Book Eleven in the Landon Saga series. In this edition, Winchester comes across an injured Apache girl and, when he stops to help her, finds himself in a situation he had never imagined. The girl, Secora, is determined and resourceful and not a little suspicious of Winchester, but she eventually sees the hopelessness of her injuries and allows Winchester to help her. Things take a turn for the worse when a group of Apaches appears and Secora and Winchester have to concoct a story to stop the Indians from killing him. Winchester takes a chance, and finds himself pursued by people out to kill him, a situation he seems to find himself in all too often.

Winchester is a great character, an accomplished killer when needed, a good shot, resourceful, and with a clever wit that makes him appealing to the reader. The story gallops along at a fast pace which is quite refreshing, and if it lacks a little description, the pace makes up for it. The author, Tell Cotten, clearly has a knowledge of the subject matter, and this comes across in his writing. There is an underlying wit which is cleverly crafted into the main character, Winchester. One of the appealing aspects of this author’s style is the speed with which the story flows, so the reader has no chance to lose interest. The book is not overlong, but the story is concise with a clear story arc, well-developed characters, and is bound to appeal to lovers of historical western adventures.

K.C. Finn

Winchester is a short novel in the western action and adventure genre, penned by Tell Cotten. It forms the eleventh book in The Landon Saga collection of western tales and follows the old tradition of a clean read free of excessive graphic content. In a story named for its title character, we follow Winchester Landon on a journey that hangs on a single decision when the young man discovers a female Apache with a broken leg. Against the judgements he imagines from his peers, Winchester nurses her back to health, but the bonds he makes turn out to have consequences in terms of his future culture, his position in the U.S. Army and his life as he knows it.

Fans of the western genre will already know that the very best reads in this arena contain romance, suspense, action, adventure, thrills, and every other mote of the human experience that you can think of, all in one short volume. Author Tell Cotten is one of the very best as a western author, and I’d recommend this work even if you’ve never picked up a western before. Cotten writes with tremendous heart, but also a vivid sensitivity for what life was like in the Old West, picking out tiny details and powerful vistas as an immersive backdrop for the story at play. Winchester is a likeable hero in his actions and his thoughts, and the conclusion of the tale will have you on the edge of your seat like any good western should. Overall, I’d highly recommend Winchester as a superb short read.

Rosie Malezer

Winchester is the eleventh installment in the western series, The Landon Saga, written by Tell Cotten. August Landon (aka Winchester) is an Apache scout. During his mission to find the summer camp of notorious war chief ‘No Worries,’ Winchester comes across an injured Apache woman, Secora. Overcome with empathy and compassion, Winchester nurses her back to health with a plan to safely return Secora to her tribal home. Winchester’s conscience goes into self-battle when he discovers that Secora’s camp and that of war chief “No Worries” are one and the same. Reporting the camp’s location will lead to the slaughter of Secora and her people, but failing to do so will cost him his life. In the meanwhile, Secora must do all she can to protect her people, but can she do the unthinkable and kill the man who saved her life?

Having read other titles in The Landon Saga, I could not resist grabbing Winchester off the shelf for a gripping read, and Tell Cotten did not disappoint. The story line maintained a steady pace throughout while action, adventure and romance in this complex Western tale retained my interest with every turn of the page. The Landon family has definitely seen their share of thrills and heartache in previous books and I loved that August Landon’s story was laden with the complex emotions which are still faced to this very day – something I so rarely see in Western novels. The gripping emotional tug-of-war faced by August Landon, who is torn between his duty and the love of a woman, will draw you into an intriguing tale of romance, a fierce battle of conscience, and the strength of those who must choose their own destiny. I very much enjoyed this installment in The Landon Saga and am very excited to see what Tell Cotten’s next story brings. I recommend Winchester to all who love to indulge in both the western and romance genres.