Darlene Franklin. A Ranger’s Trail. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2012. See here for Moody’s page about the book.
A Ranger’s Trail is part of the Texas Trails series, also known as the Morgan Family Series. This series focuses on the Morgan family in nineteenth century Texas. A Ranger’s Trail is about William “Buck” Morgan, the son of Jud and Wande Morgan of Lone Star Trail and Captive Trail. In A Ranger’s Trail, Buck is a Texas Ranger in post-Civil War Texas.
A Ranger’s Trail is about the violent conflict in Texas
between Germans and Anglos. The book starts with Derrick Denning being
acquitted of stealing cattle from Germans, and this is followed by his
hanging by a German mob. Buck Morgan is related to Germans through his
mother, and one of his relatives actually participated in the hanging.
Buck still reaches out to Derrick’s widow, Leta, as he attempts to
ensure that justice is done. Germans fight Anglos and Anglos fight
Germans, and peace-loving Germans and Anglos get caught in the
There were aspects of the book that attracted me. It has important
lessons about forgiveness. I especially liked Leta’s quiet times with
God, which baffled her expectations and eventually challenged her to
turn away from revenge. The book also effectively conveyed Leta’s sense
of loss after her husband was killed, as well as the pain felt by her
brother Andy, to whom Derrick was a sort of father figure. Andy wants
to be a man and joins a gang led by an ex-ranger who is exacting
vengeance against the Germans.
In terms of my personal chemistry with the book as a reader, however,
I have to say that the chemistry was not that great. That may be
because I thought that the book was too technical and complicated and
had too many characters. But some readers may actually enjoy these
aspects of the book, especially if they like historical fiction that
really focuses on historical detail.
The book was complicated in areas, but it taught valuable lessons and wrestled with theological questions.
I would like to thank Moody Publishers for sending me a review copy of this book.