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Marshall, Joseph M. III. Hundred in the hand, a novel.

MARSHALL, Joseph M. III. Hundred in the hand, a novel. (LakotaWesterns.) Fulcrum. 371p. maps. c2007 978-1-55591-653-4. $16.95. JSA

Joseph Marshall is a Lakota Sioux who grew up on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. Often published as a historian of his people, Marshall here presents his first novel in a proposed series of Lakota Westerns. Cloud, the central character, is a young Sioux warrior who sees the "Long Knives," the American army, especially those stationed at Fort Kearny, as a threat to the Lakota nation and its way of life. He and the leaders of the Sioux and Cheyenne who live along the Bozeman Trail plot carefully and successfully carry out the battle of "Hundred in the Hand," killing 80 soldiers in what is known to American history as the Fetterman massacre of 1866.

Marshall claims to write his story in the traditional oral style of the LaRota. Traditional or not, the novel is written in an excellent storytelling style. Cloud and his young redheaded wife (the Lakota found her as a two-year-old wandering lost on the Plains) search to find and maintain their identity as Lakota in the midst of an ever-invading line of blue-clad soldiers and covered wagons full of settlers. Fast-moving battle scenes are interwoven with an account of the birth of Cloud's first child in a symbolic ending to this well-told tale. Patricia Moore, Chestnut Hill, MA

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Author:Moore, Patricia
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jan 1, 2008
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