Road to Reckoning (Paperback)

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This story takes place in 1837. Twelve year old Thomas Walker resides in New York. His father, a salesman by trade, catches wind of a new invention by Samuel Colt. Calling it the "Improved Revolving Gun," the Patent Arms Manufacturing Company signs on the marketer as commission work. Excited to lift the financial burden off his family, the duo begin to travel west bringing along a wooden replica and a dozen of the original guns. As the journey becomes farther from home, danger and risk generates a focus on their campaign. The road to fortune becomes paved with treacherous jeopardy. The duo soon fall prey to the wickedness and evil of violent bullies. Thomas finds himself alone, and requiring the impossible task of venturing on his way home. An unlikely savior in the form of a rum-drinking, hell-raising, ex-militia ranger crosses paths with the young boy. The pair creates a mission of their own full of vengeance, bloodshed, and survival that only the Wild West can conjure.
Robert Lautner's Road To Reckoning is a historical fiction ride through nineteenth century America. The reader is invited to participate in a westward expedition full of wonderfully written gritty characters and unprotected paths that burden a tense purpose upon the plot. The descriptions of the environment enrich the plot and provide the abrasiveness needed as the background for the inhabitants. Each chapter contributes a cliff hanging quality that ministers a craving for the next portion of fiction. These combinations result in a constant western frontier feel that doesn't slow down. Fans of this brand will revel in the talent Lautner obviously has, however this particular novel comes with a strong recommendation for readers of all genres. The tone is set with the opening quotation "the Lord made man. But Sam Colt made them equal," then proceeds to provide all the ingredients that are required for an entertaining book you truly can't put down.

— Mike, Albuquerque


"Remarkable...A novel about a young man reaching for manhood after the killing of his father and about the invention and selling of Col. Samuel Colt's revolving pistol, and the way it changed the West. Those who love True Grit will love this" (Michael Korda, author of Hero).

One does not travel the path to vengeance alone

Twelve-year-old Thomas Walker has never left New York City. His father, a traveling salesman hoping to earn money by selling Samuel Colt's recent invention, the "Improved Revolving Gun," takes young Thomas with him on the road. But even the world's first true revolver cannot save them from danger, and what starts as an adventure soon turns into a nightmare.

Thomas soon finds himself alone, and must rely on his own wits, courage, and determination, as well as a wooden replica of the Colt revolver, to protect himself. Luckily, an encounter with a surly ex-ranger, Henry Stands, leads to an improbable partnership, and the two set out in perilous pursuit of vengeance. That is, if they can escape the thieves who lurk around each trail, river, and road--and who have already stolen so much from Thomas.

In the spirit of The Sisters Brothers and True Grit, this spare, elegant, and emotionally resonant story conveys--through a boy's eyes--a beautiful father-son story, as well as the fascinating history of how the birth of the revolver changed the course of violence in America. Road to Reckoning offers a window into the history of the American West and the heart of a boy yearning for love.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781476731643
ISBN-10: 1476731640
Publisher: Touchstone Books
Publication Date: January 6th, 2015
Pages: 272
Language: English