Westerns are a study of archetypes that are almost exclusively unique to American civilization. Wanderers on horseback with Stetson hats and gleaming weapons at the sides, these Nameless Men enter as knights errant, protecting cities from villains and the invasion of civilization.
In “The Legend of Tommy Jo Sanchez,” our hero is not John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, or any of the myriad characters found in Louis L’Amour’s canon. TJ Sánchez is a woman, as passionate as her male counterparts are steely. Yet TJ does exactly what these men do: he stands as a symbol, representing the spirit of the Old West.
Refusing to follow in her mother’s footsteps by becoming a prostitute, TJ steals a horse and heads to the historic town of Tombstone, AZ, determined to build her future. It’s a harsh desert, deeply inhospitable, even for men, but despite the savage Apache, those who seek her out for revenge, and her own fierce temper, TJ finds a sort of rough family among the leathery cowboys, the gamblers. and prostitutes. She conjures up a plan that will allow her to live life on her own terms, according to her own code of honor. TJ, a talented poker dealer, with the help of Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp, sets up a high-stakes game of poker to attract some high rollers to her table, hoping to win enough to buy her room, so who can secure his own future. and take care of the girls who work there too.
This independent sense of justice is not alien to the Western genre. Individual law, whether maintained solely for personal gain or altruistic reasons, is the hallmark of an untamed era, before the spread of advance swept through the arid lands, bringing with it impersonal morality and imposed order. . These “knightly” figures are respected or feared. They live by their own ingenuity and on their own conditions. Within them are the perplexities that is the Old West: noble integrity and unyielding cruelty. TJ Sánchez is all of these things and he must be to survive. She demands uncompromising respect, even from men who seek to woo her. Fortunately, TJ has his share of flaws, otherwise he would be intolerable and impossible to like as a character. Her erratic temperament, stubbornness, stubbornness, and tendency to run away whenever there’s a problem make her absolutely infuriating, but give her layers that she can relate to.
A more notable aspect of “The Legend of Tommy Jo Sanchez” is that the villain of the piece is also a woman. As much like TJ as day to night, the smartly dressed wealthy gambler from Louisiana is drawn to TJ Sanchez’s high-stakes game, and quickly proves that while she equals TJ in strength of character, it’s a lot. more ruthless. and willing to do everything possible to disconnect from her rival to get what she wants. Just as TJ Sánchez stands out among his peers as a spirit of the Old West, Fannie is an excellent example of the intrusion of progression through the dusty plain. She is more aggressive, more political in her double. She is too bright and too new for Tombstone, AZ. However, he arrives and attempts to steal those things that most explicitly typify the Old West.
“The Legend of Tommy Jo Sanchez” creates characters that are engaging, genuine, and worthy of the genre. Rubbing shoulders with the likes of Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, and Clara Barton, in Tombstone, AZ, gives you a sense of history. It is clear that the author enjoyed doing her research and the details bring the story to life. By way of criticism, the book could benefit from an editor’s eye for grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors. However, “The Legend of Tommy Jo Sanchez” is an exciting read of a genre that receives little attention these days. It offers something to satisfy without following all the usual tropes, and because of that, it is truly unique.