Mark C. Jackson’s done it again. The Great Texas Dance (The Tales of Zebadiah Creed, Book Two) continues the saga of Zebadiah Creed and we find our hero at the Alamo aside Jim Bowie, William Travis and Davy Crockett in the last days before the fall. Zebadiah’s luck holds and he and his pal Grainger are sent off with urgent messages for reinforcements to General Houston. We follow Zebadiah on his journey to Gonzales, the fateful and doomed Goliad and threading his way through the intrigue of conflicting loyalties and perilous escapes on his journey to Houston and others. Zebadiah finds his own truth and loyalties tested, never really sure who his friends are or his foes. The dance of Tejanos, Texians, the Mexican army and the American politicians weave together a complicated waltz orchestrated by greed, passion, slavery and its foes. Jackson has given us a new look at the Texas revolution…what started it, who stood to gain, and who its real heroes were.
For me, this book was an eye-opener into a piece of history that I had only known superficially, like the horrifying fate of those defending the Alamo. I was in San Antonio and visited the mission last fall, and I was struck by how small it was, this place where so many well-known heroes had lost their lives. Whenever I visit a historic site I try to immerse myself in the past, especially the things I know that have happened there and are landmarks in the history of our times. I did the same here and was saddened and overwhelmed by a sense of impending doom and futility. I had to get away from the tourists snapping pics and laughing about the great margaritas they’d had the night before.
Mark Jackson brought it to life for me, as it was then, as he did for all of Zebadiah’s journey. His dinner of stale corn tortillas spiced by the unobtainable odor of roast beef cooking behind the well-supplied Mexican lines, the mud, the blood, the despair and the exhilaration of still being alive despite incredible odds, are all part of his story. I can’t wait to see what happens to Zebadiah next.
Kudos to Mark C. Jackson for a job well done and a story wonderfully told. The Great Texas Dance is a must-read. Find out more about Zebadiah and Mark Jackson at www.markcjacksonwriter.com.