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Life on the frontier and in the Texas Militia, 1838 - 1846
Raid on large Native American village by Texas Militia, 1841
First north Texas anglo settlement at nearby Bird's Fort, 1841
The founding of Dallas 1842
Struggle by Native Americans in Texas to keep their lands

Although historical fiction, easy-to-read novel was for the most part researched to the original document level.

Three Forks: a Novel of Texas follows the trails of Jake Chalk, a young settler conscripted into the Texas Militia in 1838 and his bitter enemy, Black Wolf, a Caddo war chief. Both are driven by revenge and their inevitable confrontation becomes a mutual obsession.
     Jake meets and fights beside many men for whom several of today's north Texas counties, cities and universities are named, including Edward Tarrant, John Denton and many more. While coming of age, Jake grows to be a fierce militia fighter, courts a beautiful young woman, helps build the area's first settlement--Bird's Fort--and is instrumental in settling a new city named Dallas.

Category: History, Historical Fiction, Republic of Texas, 1836-1846, Texas Fiction

Price:    $23.95 plus $3 s/h

Format: 6"x9" hardcover with dust jacket -- includes nine illustrated maps
, 327 pages

isbn: 0759643679

Sample industry reviews of Three Forks

"Rich in historical detail and characterization . . . a fascinating glimpse of life in early 19th century Dallas and north Texas!"
              - Teresa Warfield, author of the Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman trilogy and eight other historical novels

"Three Forks is an evocative novel of early north Texas. Tom Marlin tells a compelling story of the conflict between the Caddo tribe and the early frontier settlers, encompassing the myriad emotions and complexities of the people who struggled in opposition to forge a life on the rugged Texas frontier."

              - Jacky Sach, co-founder of Book Ends, LLC and former senior managing editor at Berkley Books (later Penguin Putnam inc.)

Sample readers' reviews of three forks

Reviewer: a Reader from New Jersey
. . . Tom Marlin has captured my interest. the story line is skillfully interwoven with glimpses into the history and culture of the DFW Texas area in the middle 19th century. Many real names and places are used in the story which make it seem almost like a documentary of the struggle for territory between the Native Americans and the settlers . . . the more the story unfolded, the more I was drawn into it trying to anticipate what would be coming next . . . the ending was exciting and surprising enough to rate a five star for me.

Reviewer: a reader from O'Fallon, Missourri
OK, so I grew up on the Lone Ranger and more of the stereotypical "good guys wear white hats" kind of western. I had written off the genre for the most part until I read some Louis L'Amour and thought I'd give this a shot as well. (Apparently there's a lot of poorly written stuff out there and have been told I lucked out when I found L'Amour.)

Keep in mind that my usual reading is stuff by Phillip K. Dick, Bruce Sterling, and William Gibson, so you could definitely say I'm a fish out of water in regards to this genre. Imagine my surprise when I saw not only a good solid story, but character development and . . . what's that? historically based. Stories that take the time to weave a good tale are one thing but when the author does the research to base the story upon past events in real locations and deftly shows the affects of the real issues of day to day life in the time period....wow! I had never thought of "cowboys" like that before. It's my belief that if you like L'Amour, you'll like Marlin. Thanks for a great read, Mr. Marlin.

Reviewer: A Reader from Texas
This book fills a void in Dallas/Ft. Worth/Arlington history. I'd venture to say that 90% of people in this area are not familiar with how or why Dallas was settled and for whom it was named, or are aware that Bird's Fort was located in Arlington. I'd also guess most people are not familiar with the Indian tribes that once lived in the area and how they were driven out by the Texas Militia.

I particularly liked the historical fiction format used by Marlin, rather than reading a straightforward historical account. As Iread the book, I got to "meet" in person the likes of Sam Houston, John Neely Bryant, Edward Tarrant and John Denton. The book held a candle to works of John Jakes and James A. Michener.

I would recommend this book to anyone anywhere - not just North Texas readers. It's a page turning adventure novel with well drawn characters, an exciting backstory and amazing historical detail, all set in a fascinating period of Texas history.

Reviewer: a reader from St. Charles, Mo.
Initially, I thought this was a story about times preceding the settlement of Dallas, but I also found it to be a saga of westward expansion in the US (the culmination of which was the destruction of Native American cultures during the 19th century).

I was delighted to read not only a good solid story, but see the characters evolve with real emotion and motivations. A fairly difficult task for accomplished writers, the author ups the ante with a historically based setting.

What I liked is that these aren't the cardboard characters you find in so many well conceived but poorly executed pieces of historical fiction, where characters only exist to fulfill their 'historical significance' and are discarded to the annals of history. Stories that take the time to weave a good tale are one thing, but when the author follows it up with what appears to be very detailed research to base the story upon past events in real locations (in addition to showing the effects of the real issues of day to day life in the time period) you know you've got something special.

This book is going to be one tough act to follow, but I trust the author welcomes and rises to the challenge. I suspect I'll be let down by the fact that the author is incapable of crafting his tales as quickly as I can read them.

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