But Tyrel Sackett was born to trouble.
The night Tye stepped between his brother and a bullet changed them both forever. Now their trail pointed west, to a lawless frontier town called Sante Fe. Orrin took the job of marshal, while Tye commanded respect without a badge. When a loose end from their past turns up, one brother will be forced to revert to his old ways—if the other’s dreams are to be realized.…
When we decided to do classic western novels, I grabbed this one FAST before the other Petticoats & Pistols fillies could snag it.
Out of all the estimated one zillion book Louis L’Amour has written, this is my favorite. It’s got a few elements that make it my top choice…and let me say here that I LOVE Louis L’Amour. I’ve read everything he’s written…yes…even the poetry.
But his dynastic family, The Sacketts, were my favorites. Jubal Sackett is epic. But The Daybreakers is the first Sackett novel set in the true cowboy era.
Tyrel Sackett is a dangerous man. He doesn’t like being pushed and when he is, he doesn’t waste a lot of time giving a man a chance to see the error of his ways and back down. Orrin is a silver tongued devil. He’s got the charm, the winning ways, the story telling and singing gifts. He’s a hard man but he’s got a nice polish.
Tye shoots a man with a lot of friends to save Orrin. The need to get out of town because a lot of people are after then. They light a shuck for the western lands and push a herd of cattle along with them.
It is a Louis L’Amour-ism that the west stripped all the artifice off a man’s character. It revealed who he really was. It was a land that a strong man grew into. If he was weak, there was nowhere to hide, no law to smooth his way.
Tyrel and Orrin are strong men and the freedom of the west reveals that. They face the challenges along the way west and find a home. But the real twist in this book is what the west does to Tom Sunday. As it molds Tyrel, Orrin and Cap into hard, honorable men, it reveals an ugliness inside Tom Sunday. The book tells through Tyrel and Orrin the story of the settling of the west, but it also progresses to that day when Orrin Sackett may be forced to kill a man he once called friend, and Tyrel Sackett may once again have to step in between his brother and a bullet.
Tell Sackett is my favorite of the brothers–and off the top of my head I know he starred in three books and had bit parts in several others–so I’m thinking he was L’Amour’s favorite, too. But Tyrel is the best of them, I’d say. He has the mean streak and the speed to be a gunfighter. But he wants home and family and peace. His is an unusually wise and powerful personality and he creates a home for himself that is the envy of all who knows him, and he is wise enough to hold that home, treasure it and defend it with his lightning fast guns–while only using those guns to fight evil.
Orrin isn’t as fast as Tye, though that may make him the SECOND fastest fun in the west. But Orrin would rather talk his way out of trouble. I felt bad about Orrin. He married poorly and that seemed wrong considering that the Sacketts are supposed to be smarter than that. That beautiful, nasty wife of his causes trouble for the Sackett family for years to come.
L’Amour may have written other books as good as this one. But none better. I pick it up and re-read it every once in a while when I want to revisit the wild west.
The movie The Sacketts is a combination of Daybreakers and The Sackett Brand, which is part of Tell Sackett’s story. And nobody does a cowboy better than Sam Elliot–and he’s Tell, so maybe that’s part of why I like Tell so much. Tom Selleck is Orrin and he’s a fine cowboy, too, right there in Elliot’s league. It’s ironic that the character I consider the real foundation of The Daybreakers is played in the movie by someone I’ve never heard of since.
The Daybreakers…if you haven’t read it, you’re reallly missing out.