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The Rainbow Trail

Zane Grey

Book Overview: 

The Rainbow Trail is a sequel to The Riders of the Purple Sage. Both novels are notable for their protagonists' mild opposition to Mormon polygamy, but in The Rainbow Trail this theme is treated more explicitly. The plots of both books revolve around the victimization of women in the Mormon culture: events in Riders of the Purple Sage are centered on the struggle of a Mormon woman who sacrifices her wealth and social status to avoid becoming a junior wife of the head of a local church, while The Rainbow Trail contrasts the older Mormons with the rising generation of Mormon women who will not tolerate polygamy and Mormon men who do not seek it. (Summary Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Nack-yal never was well broke," he said. "But he's a good mustang, nothing like Joe's Navvy or that gray mare Dynamite. All this Indian stock will buck on a man once in a while."

"I'll take the bucking along with the rest," said Shefford. Both men liked his reply, and the Indian smiled for the first time.

Soon they all sat round a spread tarpaulin and ate like wolves. After supper came the rest and talk before the camp-fire. Joe Lake was droll; he said the most serious things in a way to make Shefford wonder if he was not joking. Withers talked about the ca. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This is a sequel to the classic Riders of the Purple Sage, though the main characters from that book do not enter the plot till very near the end. Like the first book, this book is also a romance set in the west, but much of the time the characters and the plot are subordinate to the setting, and ev

A stand alone sequel. As I continue to read more of Grey’s work, I see how his characters seem to live in unison with the way I imagined he lived. To ride across the plains and see the heart of the wavering flowers; those aren’t the typical quirks of a trail-hardened man. He has more of a romance ab

This is the (much anticipated by me) sequel to Riders of the Purple Sage, but set about sixteen years in the future and following (mostly) a different set of characters. Having escaped Utah and those pesky Mormons in the first book, Vinters and Bess befriend our main character and tell him about the

I loved it! Perfect book for a perfect time in my life.
I was visiting Arizona and the great red canyons and sunsets while reading this book!
Impeccabile descriptions. Interesting story line.
The timeless theme of one man’s search for meaning in life, and the Mormon friend and Noble Navajo that stick

The Rainbow Trail, a worthy sequel to hugely popular" Riders of the Purple Sage", a key book in the rise of the western genre . John Shefford a former minister (he was told to leave by the church , for being a suspected atheist !) meets Bern and Elizabeth Venters in distant Illinois. They tell him a

This sequel to Riders of the Purple Sage has an even more salacious story line than the first book. In Riders, a young Mormon woman has to escape the clutches of her controlling church elders. In this book, which takes place fifteen years later, the state of Utah has outlawed plural marriages, but a

What a lovely continuation to Riders of The Purple Sage.

A disgraced minister heads to the desert to find himself and a girl named Fay Larkin that in his mind will be his salvation. In that beautiful desert, he finds love, loyalty, friendship and himself.

The friendship between Shefford and Nas Ta Beg

After reading a few classic Westerns, I’ve figured out why the heroes have been reflective, thoughtful, intelligent characters. It’s so that the author can put in a lot of description, mostly of the land. The terrain and vegetation descriptions set this apart from other non-genre novels - Grey descr

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