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Critical Praise

"Historical novels are by nature elegies. This is especially true of novels of the Old West, and never more so than in the form Cormac McCarthy has refined-call it the Poet's Western. Paulette Jiles, an accomplished poet as well as a novelist, lodges The Color of Lightning deep within this genre, packing her prose with inventive metaphor, luxuriant detail, and flights of fierce, austere poetry, as well as hymns to the Texas landscape…[Jiles's] roving omniscience gives the novel the breadth and busyness of a Diego Rivera mural …a gripping, deeply relevant book."

Kirkus Reviews

"[A] meticulously researched and beautifully crafted story... this is glorious work."

The Washington Post

"Jiles's spare and melancholy prose is the perfect language for this tale in which survival necessitates brutality. She is also an equal-opportunity storyteller, describing events from the point of view of settlers and Native Americans. Her descriptions of life in the Native-American camps are some of the most compelling sections of the book."

Seattle Times

"Jiles is an ardent student of history, and through extensive research is able to reimagine life in post-Civil War Texas and create believable, multi-layered characters with remarkable verisimilitude."

San Antonio Express-News