Perhaps, with the exception of Riders of the Purple Sage, Heritage of the Desert is the best western Zane Grey ever wrote. It combines every thing one expects to find in the genre, and then adds a little bit more you don't expect to find. It is the basic story of a young man, John Hare, who has come west to regain his health and to find his place in life only to be branded "Dene's spy" and becomes a hunted man. There is the Mormon element, only in this book they receive favorable treatment by Zane Grey; there are animal heros; a faithful Indian companion to the heroine, a half-Indian girl, Mescal; rustlers and land thieves; a favored son gone bad; and the canyon country of Utah described as only the master detailer can depict it in all of its glory and spendor. With this book Zane Grey set the standard by which he himself had to live up to with each succeeding novel, and HE DID.
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About the Author
Born in 1875, Zane Grey was raised in Zanesville, Ohio, a town founded by his mother’s family. His passion for the American West was aroused in 1907 when Grey toured the West with Buffalo Jones, a noted hunter and adventurer. Grey published a total of 85 books — popular adventure novels that idealized the Western frontier. Riders of the Purple Sage remains his best-known book. He died in 1939 in California.