Blood Kin

Written by Henry Chappell
Review by Cindy Vallar

In early 1836 Isaac Webb joins a company of Texas rangers, hoping to meet up with the rest of Sam Houston’s rebel army before the final battle with General Santa Anna’s army. Along the way, Isaac encounters a pregnant widow named Catherine, who haunts his dreams. Although the war ends, peace doesn’t last long, for the Comanches raid western homesteads, killing the men and kidnapping the women and children. Isaac’s ranging company reforms to confront this new enemy, and in the process Isaac becomes a man. Circumstances bring Catherine and him together again, but opposing ideas on how to deal with the Comanches force them to make decisions neither wants.

This haunting novel of early Texas portrays the good and bad in people with clarity and realism. Decisions have consequences, and the characters, especially Isaac, mature as they cope with those consequences. Chappell depicts this period of turmoil fairly, allowing his characters to show the prejudices on all sides. Blood Kin is an absorbing, but realistic introduction to the early history of the Texas Republic.