The name Kilkenny refers to a series of epic Western novels that were written by Louis L’Amour. The first novel in the series actually began as a short story that was published in 1947 in West Magazine.
Order of Kilkenny Series
|1||Kilkenny||1954||Description / Buy|
|2||The Rider of Lost Creek||1976||Description / Buy|
|3||The Mountain Valley War||1978||Description / Buy|
|4||A Gun for Kilkenny||1997||Description / Buy|
|5||A Man Called Trent||2015||Description / Buy|
The Rider of Lost Creek, the novel into which that short story eventually expanded was officially published in 1976. At that time, it was fairly common for novels in the Western genre to feature wandering gunfighters who drifted from place to place opposing injustice.
So Lance Kilkenny, the hero of the Kilkenny series was nothing special when he debuted in 1976, though fans of the author will tell you that, even at a time when the Western genre felt saturated with characters like Kilkenny, Louis L’Amour found a way to take a fresh approach with his protagonist.
Lance Kilkenny was once the greatest gunfighter in the Wild West. But those days were finally behind him. Kilkenny now wandered the land looking for a home, a place where he could lay his guns down once and for all to pursue a life of peace and quiet.
But just because Kilkenny was done with the killing doesn’t mean the killing was done with him. When readers first meet him in The Rider of Lost Creek, Kilkenny owes a man named Mort Davis a debt.
Davis saved Kilkenny’s life a little while ago. So when Davis finds himself at the center of a deadly conflict, he looks to Kilkenny for help, knowing that the gunfighter will not hesitate to lend his skills.
When Kilkenny and Davis finally meet up, it doesn’t take the gunfighter long to realize that far darker forces than Davis could have imagined are at work. But the realization does little to dissuade Kilkenny who will stop at nothing to prevent the wealthy parties of the Wild West from taking advantage of their poorer counterparts.
The rest of the Kilkenny series doesn’t differ too drastically from The Rider of Lost Creek. Each novel finds Kilkenny wandering into a new community. There he tries to fly under the radar, determined to steer clear of trouble.
But Kilkenny cannot escape his reputation. And he must frequently contend with young and ambitious gunfighters who are hellbent on making their mark on the world by taking him out, not to mention those individuals that keep looking to him for help in their conflicts against the bullies that wish to oppress them.
Louis L’Amour has been commended painting the landscape, the culture, and the traditions of the Wild West in vivid detail.
Best Kilkenny Books
The Kilkenny novels are written with Western enthusiasts in mind, delving into all those tropes that make up the foundations of the genre, with some of the best books in the series including:
The Rider of Lost Creek: Kilkenny never wanted to be a legendary gunfighter. But his talents kept catapulting him into the limelight. But now Kilkenny is ready to finally put his guns down for good. The gunfighter wants to find a quiet place where he can pursue a calm and non-violent life.
Unfortunately for him, Mort Davis is in a spot of trouble. Davis saved Kilkenny’s life. So when the man comes calling, Kilkenny has no choice but to answer. Davis is at the center of a very dangerous conflict and if Kilkenny doesn’t act soon, a lot of people will die.
The Mountain Valley War: Kilkenny killed a lot of people in the past and, in the process, he made a name that would make most people tremble. But now Kilkenny has become Trent, a man with no past and no reputation.
Kilkenny hoped that the name would allow him to avoid the violent machinations of the Wild West. But then trouble still found its way to his doorstep and the legendary gunfighter had to load his pistols once more in preparation for an unavoidable conflict.
Other Book Series You May Like
Another fine series is “The Birth of a Bounty Hunter Western” Series by Clint Clay. When the Northern and the Southern states went to war, everyone lost. Now the war is over but the suffering continues. Raiding gangs roam the land, burning and pillaging every settlement they find. One young man who went to war as a boy has returned. And he is more than ready to use his skills to protect the innocent.
You may also enjoy the “Clay Brentwood” Series by Jared McVay. Horrible men took everything Clay had. They burned his farm, raped and killed his pregnant wife, and then they shot Clay. But unbeknownst to them, Clay survived and now he is determined to wreak havoc on those who wronged him.