It’s sad this book seems to be out of print & doesn’t even have a description on Amazon.
Inside flaps: The Comanches were the most fierce and warlike of all the Plains Indians. Their raiding parties terrorized settlers throughout northern mexico and the American Southwest during the 1860’s.
Komantcia opens when the Comanches are at the height of their power. The time is 1865 and Pedro, a young Spanish aristocrat who is accounted the finest guitarist in Spain, has been banished to his uncle’s rancho in northern Mexico.
The rancho is hit by a Comanche raid. Pedro’s mother and uncle are killed. Fifteen-year-old Pedro and his younger brother Roberto are seized and brutally plunged into Comanche life. This is the story of the struggle between contrasting cultures for the heart and mind of a proud, sensitive boy.
Despite his resistance, Pedro is gradually absorbed into the tribe and accepts its folkways and mores. He becomes a renowned horse thief and grows to love the wild, sweet life.
He learns how to trail an enemy, and how to successfully hunt wild turkeys and other small game. Few things equal, in any way of life, the exhilaration of a buffalo hunt, as a small band of Indians pursue and fell great numbers of the immense, shaggy beasts. The Indian method of horseback riding is a revelation. The young men practice for hours at throwing themselves over their mounts to ride suspended along the horse’s side, virtually invisible.
Pedro’s story is an absorbing and total look into the life of the fearsome Comanches. The reader comes, with Pedro, to an understanding of their beliefs and of the forces that guide their lives. There are many fascinating Indians in Pedro’s new life – some good and some bad, and yet all, finally, with their own human dignity.
KOMANTCIA is built upon carefully researched documentation of Comanche life, and of the fate of their prisoners. Pedro’s story is a testament to the survival power of mankind. It shows how a strong faith can sustain a young man through the darkest of ordeals.
Komantcia, first published in 1965, is about a Spanish teen, Pedro, that is unfairly exiled from Spain along with his family & they move to Mexico (though nowadays we call that area the SouthWest of the USA). He and his younger brother are captured by Comanches in a raid their first night in Mexico & the story is about Pedro’s struggle to fit in & survive, biding his time while he waits for a chance to escape.
Pedro is given as a slave to an abusive brave and has a horrible time adjusting to his new life. But slowly he changes and earns himself freedoms, especially as he learns that he has a knack with horses. He begins to see the other side to life with the Comanche and meets kind people among the tribe. Gradually, he becomes a full member of the tribe, (adopted by the chief, I think), and eventually falls in love, all while still thinking he’s going to escape when the chance comes.
He and his brother were separated after the raid and when they meet again his brother was so young he had forgotten his life from before and it tears Pedro up to see it. Yet he doesn’t realize that he has changed, too.
Komantcia is a huge book and rather dark at times. Not gruesomely detailed but people die and are injured and mistreated. It’s packed with historical details and emotions and when I read this as a young teen, I felt like I was there with Pedro. It’s been close to 20 years and I still remember this book as amazing. It’s written by the author, Harold Kieth, who is more well known for writing Rifles for Watie, a Newbury medal winner.
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