BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: The Captive Boy by Julia Robb (Historical Fiction)

Greetings Friends!

Today, I have a REVIEW of THE CAPTIVE BOY by Julia Robb as part of the Lone Star Book Blog Tour.

Julia Robb
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Date of Publication: December 20, 2015
Number of Pages: 170

Scroll down for the giveaway!

Colonel Mac McKenna’s Fourth Cavalry recaptures white captive August Shiltz from the Comanche, only to find August is determined to return to the Indians. McKenna attempts to civilize August to nineteenth century American standards and becomes the boy’s foster father. But when August kills another boy in a fight, McKenna rejects him, and August escapes from Fort Richards (Texas). When war with the Comanche breaks out, McKenna discovers August is a war leader – and his greatest enemy.


“THE CAPTIVE BOY by Julia Robb is a story told in a unique way – through journal entries by several different characters, and a novel within the novel. Robb is masterful in her depiction of each character, bringing to life an intriguing tale of the Old West.” ~ Writer’s Digest competition judge

“It will capture you and keep you engaged from the beginning all the way through the end and also give you insights into the difficulties faced by those who fought on both sides of the Indian Wars in Texas after the Civil War. Buy this book. You will not be disappointed.” ~ Steve Mathisen

“Ms. Robb’s research is evident on every page. Without becoming bogged down in detail, she employs just enough of it to paint an accurate picture of a dangerous and unforgiving time.” ~ Samuel L. Robinson


Julia grew up on the lower Great Plains of Texas, eventually became a reporter, and lived in every corner of the Lone Star State, from the Rio Grande to the East Texas swamps. She couldn’t shake images and experiences and began writing them down.

A priest once disappeared on the Mexican border and that inspired parts of Saint of the Burning Heart. She discovered a hypnotic seducer, who she turned into Ray Cortez, the bad guy in Del Norte. Reading about child Comanche captives and their fates made her want to write about a cavalry colonel who attempts to heal a rescued boy, and that turned into The Captive Boy. Finally, what happens to a man who is in love with another man, in a time and place where the only answer is death? That became Scalp Mountain.

You can connect with her on:

Combining multiple formats and perspectives, this fascinating story wove together to provide a true to life take on the hardships facing those within the Texas frontier in the late 1800s. Although the crux of this chronicle is Colonel McKenna’s attempt to reintegrate August, we become privvy to the struggles facing soldiers, Native Americans, and settlers alike.

Each character’s account is told through various journal entries, letters, news reports, memoirs, and a serial novel written during that time discovered at West Point. While each narrative moves progressively to reveal profound insights into this time in history as well as introducing compelling subplots, this approach to telling the story was certainly a challenge for me given that I’m not generally a fan of multi-format novels. Some aspects of this style had me invested until I felt suddenly jarred out of the story when the presentation shifted. Despite feeling most connected when reading the doctor’s journal due to my own experiences within the ranks of the military, there were moments I became slightly detached when the story slipped into excerpts from manuscripts. However, personal preference aside, there is no denying that this was an engaging and beautifully descriptive piece of fiction that was not only historically accurate based on the author’s own extensive research, but incredibly readable. As you comb through this fictional anthology, there is a sense that this method of writing allows the reader to feel as though he or she is making history as all the points of view collected from these historical documents are pieced together in a highly climactic ending. This complex style adds layers of authenticity to richly detail tragic and tender moments in the course of a traumatic time in Texas history.

Overall, readers of nonfiction will enjoy this book for its homage to the genre’s more common structural devices while giving fiction fans a remarkable glimpse into history with Robb’s unique storytelling ability.


Two Readers Each Win a Signed Copy

JUNE 19-28, 2018

(U.S. Only) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Many thanks to Lone Star Book Blog Tours and especially Julia Robb! It was an absolute pleasure hosting and reviewing! And be sure to check out the other blogs on the tour for more opinions and author extras!


Book Trailer
Author Interview
Guest Post
Excerpt 1
Excerpt 2
Top 8 List

   blog tour services provided by

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