Medicine War

Written by Robert J. Conley
Review by Lisa Ann Verge

In Medicine War, the good guys wear white, the bad guys wear black, the violence is swift and detached from human emotion, and in the end, true justice prevails. The twist that sets Medicine War apart is the choice of protagonist, George Panther, a full-blooded Cherokee medicine man. When a red-eyed shaman loses money betting against George’s horse in a local race, the villain spreads bad medicine among the community. George works night and day to protect his friends and family. Escalating the battle, the villain infects a white horse trader with envy for George’s prize-winning stallion, and George is forced to kill the trader in self-defense. He turns himself in to the local Indian authorities, where he is released on his own recognizance. But the death of a white man in Cherokee land is deemed by the American authorities to be U.S. business, so George becomes a wanted man, and violence and vengeance spin out of control.

The author includes a short ‘Prologue,’ which is really a Foreword, discussing the political and social aspects of 19th century Cherokee history in relation to the United States – a nice addition, but unnecessary, since the plot itself illustrates the issues more strongly than any preaching. Medicine War is a solid story with comfortable roots in the genre — a good read for lovers of the classic western.