Tempe Tucker is still reeling from a devastating event which led to the death of her fiance and the crippling of her brother. Thanks to a separate incident her father is wanted for the murder of a land surveyor and remains in hiding.
Into this fractured life walks Sion Morgan, another land surveyor from the same company as the man her father murdered. He arrives with his crew at the Tucker family’s Moonbow Inn along the banks of the Cumberland river, in the Indian territory of Kentucke.
Morgan is in need of an experienced guide to lead his crew through uncharted territory and Tempe has the knowledge and skills to do so. Initially, she refuses, but at her father’s insistence Tempe is soon leading this group of men into the wilderness to chart the land, create maps for future settlers and also lead them away from her father.
However, the eastern states are at war with Britain for their freedom and Kentucke is still a dangerous place for white settlers and surveyors whom the Indians deem as a threat to their way of life. The Indians are determined to wipe out not only the few white settlements that have survived, but also the men charting the land who make it possible and enticing for settlers to continue to brave the potential dangers in exchange for land of their own.
Tempe and Sion find themselves in the middle of this conflict and will need all of their bravery and skills to not only complete their job, but also to survive. They must also both come to terms with past traumas and decide whether or not trusting each other is worth the potential pain they may experience.
I don’t know if words can do justice to this intricate and detailed story. Laura Frantz has been a must read historical fiction author for me since her debut novel The Frontiersman’s Daughter. Frantz is a Kentucky native and many of her books are set in her home state. A Moonbow Night is no exception.
Although this story is filled with danger and moments of action, it is surprisingly slow moving. This is actually a good thing as it gives Frantz time to develop the setting, history and characters of early day Kentucky making it all come alive. It is obvious that the author has done in depth research of daily life during this time period and she weaves these details in seamlessly allowing the reader to live and breath a way of life lost to time.
A Moonbow Night is not just a book, but a portal to another world, to the days where the American frontier is still new and untamed, claimed only by nature, animals and the Native Americans. It gives a good understanding of the challenges white settlers faced as they moved West as well as the shifting political issues and attitudes which affected both these settlers and the Indians who were rightly afraid of losing their own way of life.
Although I tend to prefer a little more romance in my historical fiction and Frantz generally delivers, in A Moonbow Night, the romance of Sion and Tempe takes a back seat to their own unresolved traumas and the practicalities of their daily tasks. That’s not to say there is no romance at all, it is just not the main point.
If you are a fan of historical fiction or films like The Last of the Mohicans, then you will most likely love A Moonbow Night. The tale does tend to move at an unhurried pace, but you will be rewarded with the rich experience of the early American frontier.
This book is the author’s latest release but is currently available at Amazon for a greatly discounted price. I encourage you to buy the book here.
Also, check out the author’s Pinterest page for images and inspiration for A Moonbow Night.