Top positive review
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worth every penny
on 4 April 2008
This is the second book in the Leatherstocking Tales which spans an entire life of a single man: Natty Bumpo otherwise known as Deerslayer in the first book, Hawkeye in this one, Pathfinder in the third book and Leatherstocking in the ones to follow, or just Natty. The Deerslayer concentrated on the early years, his early twenties whereas in this book he has become an experienced scout, hunter and is known throughout the colonies as Hawkeye for his exceptional shooting ability with the rifle known as Killdeer, first obtained in the Deerslayer. Natty is now about 35 years old. Suffice it to say, he is now a man of renown. It starts when he is engaged in rescuing the daughters of Colonel Munro from the revengeful Magua who was whipped by Colonel Munro and swore vengence on the children of Munro. It also covers the time of Braddock's defeat after the loss of Fort William Henry. It discusses, in earnest, the decline of the Native American population in the East. It does this through the tale of Uncas the son of Natty's friend Chingachgok. Uncas becomes a kind of symbol of this decline, a brave warrior with great vigour, constitution and heart the story shows that the sun is beginning to set on the native peoples even though they are yet strong and vigorous.
By far the best of the tales I have so far read, having read the first three. It is more dynamic than the other tales and the story moves forward quickly. It is again written in that old style of the 1800's which has its own character and is not unpleasant to read. I enjoyed this book a great deal.
N.B. The Last of the Mohicans is very different from the film of the same name starring Daniel Day Lewis. In fact I would say the story of the original bears very little resemblance to the film.