“Trail Markers” by Cym Aros

Usually, I have a lot to say, especially about books. But with “Trail Markers” by Cym Aros, I’m at a loss where to start. I’m overwhelmed by the depth of the characters, the extent of human cruelty, and the author’s knowledge of human nature.

Let me say that I’ve never been a fan of westerns. Those movies felt too straightforward to me, and I couldn’t find any sympathy for brave cowboys – who seemed reckless to me – and even the fact that they rode horses, couldn’t stir my interest.

“Trail Markers” is a story set in the times of cowboys, but it’s not about a superhero sheriff and a dirty, illiterate criminal, shooting at each other in the middle of a dusty main street. This is a story of human strength, endurance, and the ability of a man to overcome unimaginable sufferings. This is also a story about family ties. The synergy between the members of the Franklins’ family, which is not solely based on blood ties, turns the characters into real people. I loved the way the author depicts friendships and the loyalty people display despite the circumstances that are supposed to suppress even the strongest of spirits.

I always feel the pain of movie/book characters acutely. And Jesse’s trials have almost broken my heart. At one point, I was thinking “How much more can one person take?” But the fact that the villains aren’t one-dimensional, and although their cruelty absolutely cannot be justified, at least we get to understand where it stems from.

I hope that Jesse gets his share of happiness in the next books of the series.

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