Not Between Brothers: An Epic Novel of Texas

Written by David Marion Wilkinson
Review by Sarah Nesbeitt

This is the highly regarded first novel by the author of Oblivion’s Altar (reviewed last issue). Texas in 1816 was an empty, desolate prairie, settled mainly by Indians and Mexicans and only occasionally by newly arrived Anglos. It is here that Remy Fuqua, a boy of Scots-French heritage, grows to manhood. Scarred by the violent deaths of his parents, crushed by his uncle’s betrayal, Remy grows to be an intelligent but hot-tempered man with little concern for what society thinks. In a parallel storyline, his Native counterpart, Kills White Bear of the Comanche, is seen in a vision as a leader of his people, though he must first grow into the role. Their societies, along with that of the Mexicans, hold an uneasy peace until violence explodes–first in minor skirmishes and raids, and later in horrible tragedy at the Alamo. The lives of Remy and Kills White Bear run in tandem until a debt owed to one by the other turns hostile and vengeful. They both possess a strength that will propel them through major events in Texas history–the Alamo, the Mexican War, and on until the Civil War. The author carefully avoids taking sides, and his powerful writing takes us smoothly from the personal to the epic. It’s a real education in the dramatic history of Texas and the three cultures that made it grand, and how its very greatness was built on the blood of many.