The Apprenticeship of Nigel Blackthorn by Frank Kelso


His family slaughtered by Comanche, a teen boy is left to die on the prairie. Will he find the grit to survive?
Texas, 1853. Thirteen-year-old Nigel Blackthorn is the spoiled son of a Protestant preacher. When his missionary family falls victim to a brutal Comanche attack, his easy childhood crumbles in an instant. While he narrowly escapes the death that claimed his loved ones, the preacher's son finds himself alone and struggling to survive on the wild frontier.
Pascal LeBrun, a roaming muleteer, rides to the smoke of the burning wagons to find Nigel.
Plump, lazy, and spoiled, Nigel enters an unwelcome new world–work or starve. He finds survival is the way of life on the western prairie. 200 miles later, the mule train reaches the first settlement. Nigel’s choice: an orphanage, or an apprenticeship on the mule train.
Years later, Nigel wonders if the orphanage would have been easier.

This genre is far removed from my usual interests, but I am so glad I got to read it. The events in the book are believable, and it is obvious that Mr. Kelso and done his due diligence on the lives and times of the characters. I was so enamored by the story that I could hardly stay away and even got in some daytime reading which I rarely do.