A lost white boy, a missing black girl, and a captive hunter's quest of conscience.
D. László Conhaim's The Unredeemed
“From its beginning, America has confronted the question, ‘How much do Black lives matter?’ During slavery, Black lives were measured by their economic value, but after slavery Black lives lost much of their monetary and social value . . . A novel can connect the past with the present . . . D. László Conhaim’s novels pursue social and racial concerns woven into the traditional Western. In The Unredeemed, redeemer Scott Renald struggles with whether he should seek to rescue a little Black girl when the larger society does not care . . . Conhaim presents a more accurate American West in all of its colors and dimensions with the imagined story unfolding within the context of real people, places and events . . . a story well told.” —Michael N. Searles, Western Writers of America
In this sequel to Comanche Captive (“Recommended” by Library Journal), U.S. Army redeemer Scott Renald is commissioned to find 16-year-old white Indian Karl Hermann. But black Emma Neely has also gone missing—taken by Indians—yet nobody is sent out for her, not even the 10th Cavalry of Buffalo Soldiers. When her father fails to locate her, the 10th’s Sergeant Chance turns to Scott Renald, triggering a moral dilemma: Isn’t Emma’s rescue more urgent than Karl’s recapture? Guided by an Apache woman-warrior, Renald’s pursuit of Karl leads him to the tragedy of 10th Troop, sent into a heatwave to chase reservation breakouts—a climax that embroils all the players, and leaves Emma’s fate hanging in the balance.
“With The Unredeemed, D. László Conhaim delivers a sequel to Comanche Captive
that will appeal to prior fans of Conhaim's work as well as newcomers who
enjoy Western historical fiction … a fascinating read … about a captive's choice to remain an “Indian.” The story of the white boy turned Native American warrior is explored against the backdrop of the little-known Buffalo Soldier Tragedy of 1877 … Black sergeant Emanuel “Tops” Chance takes risks and makes choices every bit as critical as his white or Indian counterparts in this story. This, too, sets The Unredeemed apart … [It] should join Comanche Captive in any collection strong in Western novels and Native American history.”—Donovan’s Bookshelf
“The Unredeemed depicts in vivid detail how children, taken by Apaches, adapted to tribal life and considered their captors to be family. What truly sets this story apart is its focus on the perseverance of their original kin in recovering them. I highly recommend The Unredeemed. It’s captivating.”
—Lucia St. Clair Robson, bestselling author of Ride the Wind
“Conhaim is a strong writer who brings both the desert setting and the battle scenes to life with economic but evocative phrasing … The novel makes a solid attempt to bring the Black experience into a traditional Western, and it largely succeeds … While players from Comanche Captive appear in the book, mainly in cameo roles, the sequel stands alone, and new readers will have no trouble following the plot … A well-written Western [that] takes a multilayered look at the past.” —Kirkus Reviews
“[A] compelling historical novel about Indian captives and the man who seeks to reunite them with their families, whether they want to be reunited or not. Scott Renald, first characterized in the novel Comanche Captive has retired from active duty to raise Morgan horses outside of Fort Worth, Texas … The novel is a standalone although best paired with Comanche Captive. Do not miss the author’s notes, acknowledgments, and afterword for some perspective on the history of the story he has crafted and the references he mentions. In fact, reading those first is recommended by this reviewer.”
—Wendy Paige, formerly of Library Journal
"Vivid, evocative, and filled with insights . . . a fascinating read . . . hard to put down and satisfyingly unpredictable." —Midwest Book Review
"Death Valley Dunes" cover image © Terry Thompson: https://www.terrythompsonphoto.com/