The Battle of Half Moon Mountain

Written by James D. Crownover
Review by Jeff Westerhoff

From 1814 to 1825, Jerry Harris and his sister Ruth join Lonza and Lydia Fourkiller, a Cherokee family, and settle in the Ozark Mountains. They are living with Wash Fishinghawk and his wife Morning Star, the wise elders of the group. An old friend named Sam Meeker from back east visits them and eventually proposes to the recently widowed Ruth.

Jerry joins with his friend White Wolf, a Cherokee warrior, and they go on a far-reaching hunt into Osage territory. Their adventures with the Osage tribe and the adoption of a young slave girl eventually leads to making deadly enemies with certain Osage tribal members. The family must soon take up arms against horse thieves in a battle on Half Moon Mountain.

This novel is the second book in the forthcoming four-book series, Five Trails West. I didn’t read the first book in the series, but I wish I had. I could have obtained a better grasp of the characters, their background, and the travails they experienced prior to their arrival in the Ozarks. With that said, I still enjoyed the well-researched story, its characters’ interactions, especially between the Indian tribes and among the family members. Crownover has a very good understanding of the Indian issues of the early 19th century. I highly recommend this series for those who enjoy early American life in the Ozarks before the Indians were forced to move west.