Ride the Dark Trail Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Ride the Dark Trail

A pioneer widow fights to protect her ranch from a greedy outlaw that wants to kill her and take possession of her ranch. Em Talon had come west with her husband. He had built her an incredible home and ranch that was very well situated and constructed to outlast any attack. Together over the years, hand in hand they fought everything from outlaws to indians and built up a ranch that was known far and wide.
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Jake Flanner was a semi wealthy man that had admired and coveted this ranch for some time. When "old Man Talon" went away for supplies, Flanner killed him thinking that with him gone it would be an easy task to "take care" of Em and have the ranch for himself.

Flanner hired gunmen to run off or kill all the workers on Em's ranch, however he did not count on Em being such a fighter. The MT Ranch was built to last and she alone was able to hold off Flanner's men for quite some time. Her age however was catching up to her and she knew deep down that she couldn't last much longer.

Logan Sackett had heard about Em's problems while rescuing a girl from a bunch of Flanner's drunken men. He took the girl to Em's ranch only to discover that she was a "Sackett" before she married. Logan knew he could not leave his Aunt Em so he started planning to take care of Flanner.

After running off the men that had been watching the ranch, Logan gets word out about what's happening by contacted some men on the "Outlaw Trail". Though not an outlaw himself, Em's son Milo rode the "Outlaw Trail" and had built quite a reputation as a man to feared and respected. Milo had believed his mother to be dead due to a rumor Flanner had started so that Milo would have no reason to come home.

Em's other son Barnabas, had also heard the rumor and was also coming home.

Flanner knew he had to kill Em. It seemed an easy task at first but now with Logan's help and the sons on the way home he knew he had to act quickly.

After several failed attempts at driving her out, Flanner tried to burn the ranch only to fail. This resulted in a gunfight in town that lost Flanner several of his key men.

In the fight, Logan is seriously wounded but is rescued in time by Barnabas Talon.

Milo eventually gets home to find that Flanner's men have captured his mother and with the help of Logan sackett , they rescue Em and kill or run off the rest of the Flanner's hired guns.

Several months go by and the boys are getting the ranch back into operating shape. No one has seen or heard from Flanner. Em decides it's safe to go into town but is again captured by Flanner himself.

Logan Sackett finally is healed enough to strike out on his own. He discovers Em is missing and tracks Flanner down to an old remote outlaw hideout where he rescues his Aunt Em and kills Flanner ending the problem once and for all.
Best part of story, including ending: Louis L'Amour has built a huge family history of the Sackett family as well as the Talon family in the books he has written . I love it when characters from both series of books come together !

Best scene in story: There is no reasoning with the kind of man that would take advantage of an old woman and try to kill her. Logan gives Flanner exactly what he deserves when he tracks him and kills him.

Opinion about the main character: Logan Sackett knew nothing about this fight when he rode into town. The fact that he helped a defenseless girl is admirable but when he found out it was his own family in trouble he was all in.

The review of this Book prepared by S.Morrison a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar

Chapter Analysis of Ride the Dark Trail

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 30%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) Time/era of story:    -   1600-1899 Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Western    -   Yes Story primarily about    -   fighting outlaws

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   champion of justice Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


Mountains/Cliffs    -   Yes Farm/Ranch?    -   Yes Farm/Ranch:    -   ranch

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Louis L'Amour Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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