by F. M. Parker
With an awesome list of stirring Westerns novels, F. M. Parker has won acclaim as a master spellbinder. In The Slavers, he has achieved a new personal best, bringing alive the high drama and true-grit realities of the Western past.
The year is 1877. The scene is Mexico City. A young American, Ken Larraway, has come to study under the legendary master of weaponry, Louis Calleja.
Larraway is forced to turn from student to slayer while trying to save his teacher from death in an unfair duel with the son of Ramos Zaldivar the most powerful caudillo in Mexico.
With a handpicked killing crew from Zaldivar's private army on his trail and a bounty of a fortune on his head, Larraway flees north toward Texas, fighting his way through the rugged deserts and mountains where the only law comes out of a gun. There is no safety from Zaldivar's blood rage, and when Larrawy stumbles upon the town of Janos settled by a sect of polygamous Americans in a secluded, mountain valley, he finds not sanctuary but fresh danger.
Zaldivar knows of this strange colony of Janos and has raided it again and again to feed his and other powerful men's appetite for young, fair women as slaves to their desires. The settler's last hope against Zaldivar's rapacious reach is Larraway's skill with a pistol. If he agrees to face off against the most feared gunfighter in the land, Ramos Zaldivar himself.
Set against a background of Mexico on the brink of civil war between powerful Mexican caudillos and President Diaz, and revealing a little-known chapter of history in the lost colony of Janos, The Slavers combines authenticity with non-stop action and suspense. It is a thrilling reading experience.
Author's notes from The Slavers
Janos truly existed--for a few short years.
The first United States law prohibiting polygamy was passed in 1862. Men with plural wives soon began to migrate south to settle in northern Mexicoa place they hoped would be a sanctuary from persecution. Janos was settled in 1863. A second more stringent federal law was passé in 1882. The flow of polygamist into Mexico accelerated. An even tougher law was passed in 1887. The number
of émigrés to Mexico grew greatly. In total, several thousand American men and women and their children, founded twenty settlements in Mexico.
The bloodiest of Mexican revolutions began in1910. Battles between the opposing forces were fought almost everywhere. One million people were slain out a national population of fifteen million. Many rebel chieftains sprang into being during these times. Soldiers deserted the federal army and formed marauding bands. Bandits rode all over the back country.
The American settlements, where each man had several wives, were prime targets for the large bands of men roving about the country. The gangs invaded the towns and raped the women, forcing 'favors' as they called it. A rapid exodus of the American polygamists began. They streamed north, abandoning years of labor and fertile land, to settle in secluded valleys in the desert southwest of the United States.
- F. M. Parker, January 2013
F. M. Parker
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