Buffalo Soldier Sergeant Moses Williams and his Civil War-hardened soldiers face the daunting task of killing Apaches in the “faraway blue” mountains of southwestern New Mexico Territory of the late 1800s. His nemesis is Nana, a tactical genius both hated and admired, who recognizes his opponent by the gold bars on his sleeve.
Nana’s “eyes” belong to his young grandson. He also has a fierce woman warrior by his side. Moses soon becomes attached to Sheela Jones, the victim of one of the Apache raids, who he meets as she’s about to start a life of prostitution. Sheela’s allies include the tough Madame, her own foster mother, and the fort’s washerwoman. As relationships deepen, the war rages to its final showdown at the Mexican border.
Evans tells a crackling, fast-paced story that is not afraid to take time for thought and tenderness. Although frequent viewpoint shifts are demanding and sometimes lead to repetition, his vibrant characters, usually on the periphery in Westerns, are treated with care and perception.