Riders of Deseret: A Western Story (Five Star Western Series)

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9781594149962: Riders of Deseret: A Western Story (Five Star Western Series)

Lieutenant Zachary Tarrant is cashiered out of the U.S. Army for his involvement with Tamar Young, the daughter of Mormon leader Brigham Young. Tarrant was unaware that Tamar is actually the third wife of Hyrum Paine, secretary to Brigham Young. His one hope for reinstatement is to accept an assignment as a government spy, to go to the Mormon city of Moroni and gather evidence on Bishop Lot Drake who, thirty years before, was responsible for the massacre of 120 Gentile immigrants at Mountain Meadows.

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Deseret was a provisional state proposed in 1849 by settlers in Salt Lake City, but the Utah Territory was established instead. The Mormons, however, as explored in this exciting western set in 1877, saw Deseret as a state independent from U.S. law. Into this volatile area comes Zachary Tarrant, a lieutenant in the U.S. Army who has been given a tricky assignment: go to the city of Moroni and, working undercover, find proof that Bishop Lot Drake, a powerful Mormon leader, was responsible for a notorious massacre that took place 20 years earlier. Tarrant’s efforts are hindered on two fronts: by Drake’s pronouncement that Tarrant is a government spy, and by Tarrant’s attraction to Deseret Mayberry, a beautiful girl who is destined to be Drake’s twentieth wife. Originally published as a magazine serial in 1925, when the political history behind the story would still have been fresh in many readers’ minds, the novel offers an enjoyable mixture of traditional genre themes and political commentary. Strong characters and snappy dialogue add to the pleasure. --David Pitt

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Coolidge, Dane
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