If you ever wondered what actually happened in the early history of the Old Northwest,i.e., the area above the Ohio River, then William Heath s Blacksnake s Path the True Adventures of William Wells, a well researched and eloquent novel, is the one to read Based on the life of William Wells, who as a boy was captured in 1784 by the Indians, grew up to be a Miami warrior, fighting under his father in law Little Turtle at St Clair s Defeat in 1791 the biggest victory the Indians ever won against the U S army , the he switched sides and became the head scout for Mad Anthony Wayne at the decisive American victory at Fallen Timbers in 1794 For much of the rest of his life Wells was Indian agent for the Miami at Fort Wayne, Indiana, and died in the Fort Dearborn massacre in 1812 In short, during his period he was everywhere that mattered, including trips to Philadelphia and Washington to meet presidents Washington, Adams, and Jefferson, and his life presents the frontier world from both the Miami and American point of view Heath is a accomplished craftsman than popular writers in the genre like Alan Eckert he does solid research but importantly he writes a gripping narrative that includes sharp dialogue and vividly evocative descriptions of the natural world This is not a novel to skim read, but it is certainly one to savor It is wonderfully written, fully dramatized, and richly informative I recommend it very strongly to all serious readers of good historical fiction. Based On Extensive Research, Blacksnake S Path Combines A Compelling Narrative With Authentic History This Splendid Novel About An Unsung Hero Of American History Is The Product Of Twelve Years Of Research And Writing, Yet It Carries Its Prodigious Learn Interesting bio of William WellsNice historical book covering the life of Wells, taking place in a very volatile period in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Fascinating times, person and book I wish people would read this one maybe get it on college syllabi. Like other novels by William Heath, I thought it was an oustanding work of historical research put into an entertaining, lively narrative Having some family roots in Ohio, I had read another novel on Wells called Heart of a Warrior, by Joe Krom Heath s is much better He s a accurate historian and also a better writer The descriptions of Indian life, courtship, nature, in contrast to the sequences in Washington and Philadelphia are very strong I ve given the book as a present to several friends and have always gotten positive comments Highly recommended. This really is history made alive No doubt the best novel about eighteeenth century Indian wars and frontier life there is The characters, both natives and colonials, the background, nature, battles, everything is described so dramatically and convincingly I couldn t put it down A MUST. An interesting historical account, only lightly fictionalized, of the life and times of William Wells in the old northwest territory.