Authors Showcase: Battle of Fortune Wells by Daniel C. Chamberlain
July 9, 2015
The Book: Battle of Fortune Wells
The Author: Daniel C. Chamberlain
The Story: The great Comanche people, once considered by military experts to be the finest mounted fighting force in the world, were surrendering to the U.S. Army. The last to surrender were the Quahadi people led by the famed “War Chief” Quanah Parker and were relegated to a reservation made up of Comanche, Kiowa and some Apache people in the Southwest Indian Territory. But reservations were not prisons, and many of those who lived there simply left to hunt or wander and often they attacked isolated ranches and buffalo hunters encamped in areas that once had been the great Comanche Nation.
In 1877, just such a group of Comanche fighters left the reservations with the aim of clearing the land of any white settlers they found whether man, woman or child. This group, led by a boyhood friend of Quanah Parker; a Comanche warrior who has come to be known by his people as the man who “Killed-His-Horse,” has now attacked and defeated an army patrol. Emboldened by their success, they are wandering over west Texas, attacking anyone they find on what was once their tribal land.
Caught in the middle of this Comanche war is a Deputy U.S. Marshal, Tomas Killain who witnesses first hand the brutality being meted out against those who dare to make homes on the land that once belonged to the free-roaming Comanche. Discovering a wounded rancher named Simon Coulter, his injured son Zack and Simon’s beautiful daughter, Jennifer, Killain leads them across a bleak and waterless landscape toward the only reliable source of water between the Coulter ranch and safety to the north. There, they discover others who are thinking only of survival.
Killain finds himself cast as an impromptu commander of a bedraggled and outnumbered group of settlers and soldiers being decimated in relentless attacks by Killed-His-Horse and his followers. In the midst of this terrifying struggle, Killain’s thoughts are turning more and more towards Jennifer, desperately trying to find a way to guarantee her survival even if it means his own death, in what will one day be known as the “Battle of Fortune Wells.”
Review by Wool Wearer:
Well Dan, I finally finished Battle Of Fortune Wells, and must extend another kudos for a well-written novel. I’ll admit the cavalry vs. Indians westerns aren’t always my favorite, either in print form or movie………..so I wasn’t sure how I would like this novel.
While I still prefer the setting and pace of Long Shooters better, I think you masterfully told both sides of the struggle between the settlers/US Cavalry and the various native tribes. You didn’t pull any punches for either side, and I appreciated that. It was a complicated time in our nation’s history, and I think you gave a very fair interpretation of the recorded history.
I sincerely hope you’re busy writing another book, as your attention to detail, history, and intelligent dialog make for very enjoyable reading. I’ve read your biography and insights on your homepage, and agree that your life experiences play a very significant role in your ability to write a quality novel.
Review by J. S. Riddle Jr.: I enjoyed Battle of Fortune Wells, and especially appreciated Dan’s understanding of the setting, and the eloquent description of it. In fact, as a person who has read a lot about the history of that area, and grew up in the Texas panhandle, I couldn’t find a single detail to nit-pick.
The Comanche fighting tactics were completely believable, as well as the tactics used to counter them. Everything is about water in that region, and Dan recognized the significance of that and crafted his story around it perfectly.
It is a very intelligent and well written novel that rates up there with the best of the western genre – I never enjoyed a Zane Grey or Louis L’Amour story more.
Review by Amazon Customer:
If you like historical novels, especially old west involving Native Americans, you will love this book. Based on a potentially historical incident in the American southwest involving the Comanche Indians, the author weaves a great tale of survival and action.
You will find yourself mad about the Comanche’s actions one minute, then understanding their anger because of how the government has treated them the next. True to our nation’s history and to life, you realize that that there are good and bad people in all races.
Again, true to life, many good people suffer and die because of the acts of evil people and governments. The bottom line, get this book and you find it hard to put down.