Book Review: Stand to Horse by Andre Norton (Four Stars)
“Pinda-lick-o-yi?” Ritchie twisted his tongue about the word. “White eyes. That’s the Apache name for us. Ours for them—Apache—isn’t much better. That just means ‘enemy’. They call themselves simply ‘The People.’”
Based on memoirs and diaries of actual frontier horse soldiers, this book takes the reader deep into the west as it really was before the Civil War. Told from the point of view of a recruit newly assigned to Santa Fe in the New Mexico territory. Army life, frontier life, interaction with the native Apaches are all melded in.
Some of the stories set down so matter-of-factly in these pages seem like the wildest romance—yet they are true.
Since Norton assures us all the incidents are true, draw from the accounts of four identified soldiers. The magic of the story is weaving all those events into a coherent whole. Well done.
“I have drunk of these waters; I am a part of this land.”
(The cover shown is that of the paperback; the one attached to the newer electronic versions has nothing to do with the story.)
I’ll remember this exists if I ever go looking under the rocks of how natives have been treated by tiny invading armies with superior weapons. Times have changed, but not nearly enough, and the damage done is incalculable.