I was notified last evening that The Scorpion Trail (Josiah Wolfe #2) has won the 2011 Will Rogers Medallion Award for Western Fiction.
The Will Rogers Medallion Award is presented each year to those books that represent an Outstanding Achievement in the publishing of Western Literature. They are books that exemplify outstanding excellence in content and design with an enduring quality that preserves and celebrates the history and spirit of the West and the memory of Will Rogers.
Roundup review of The Scorpion Trail by Matthew P. Mayo:
Already a fan of Larry D. Sweazy's first novel in his Josiah Wolfe, Texas Ranger series, The Rattlesnake Season, I was prepared to like its sequel, yet hesitant, too, lest Sweazy do something to sway my fondness for the well-drawn characters he'd introduced me to. I needn't have worried, The Scorpion Trail is a first-class read.
And those characters? Sweazy works them over pretty hard--emotionally, physically, socially--but the ones who survive emerge stronger and wiser. Josiah Wolfe is a complex character decidedly not a superman. His tragic past and the specters of his dead wife and daughters haunt him every day, but his love for his young son, for being a Texas Ranger, for the newly reawakened appreciations of a woman in his life bubble to the surface, forcing Wolfe for the first time in a long time to look to the future with hope.
We're treated also in this book to the maturation of the pugnacious, trigger-happy ranger, Scrap Elliott--a welcome development, for Scrap is a firecracker whose youthful vibrance counterbalances Wolfe's more mature, sober ruminations. In these characters, Sweazy is setting up a partnership, burrs and all, as filled with tension as it is with growing mutual admiration.
At times a gunshot-speed series of events, the book takes Wolfe and Elliot from Austin to Waco to Fort Worth, along the Brazos River. Toss in an ungrateful prostitute, angry Kiowas, skulking killers, and a vicious Mexican known as El Puno, the Fist, and you're on--and in--The Scorpion Trail.
Sweazy has the rare and enviable ability to convey a balance of gripping action and weighty themes in a conversational manner. The Scorpion Trail proves he's a natural storyteller, born to the task.