The Sackett book series is a highly popular series of novels about the Sackett family. They’re historical fiction novels in the Western genre and feature numerous interesting characters.
The books offer a fascinating glimpse into life on the American Frontier and focus on family, morality, and doing what is right. All of the books in the series are written by Louis L’Amour.
During his life and writing career, L’Armour was a prolific writer and has over 100 novels to his name. He is widely regarded as one of the most talented and influential writers in the Western genre.
He was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his works. The Sackett series is his most well-known and popular work.
The first two chronological novels were used as the basis for a TV movie broadcast in 1979. The movie starred Sam Elliott and Tom Selleck as Tell and Orrin Sackett respectively.
About The Sackett Series
The series is set against the backdrop of Frontier America and follows various members of the Sackett family.
It starts with Barnabus Sackett leaving England for America and then continues through his sons and various ancestors as they spread throughout various regions and states. The books are westerns packed with action, history, and a strong sense of good and evil.
Throughout the series, L’Amour packs his books with vivid descriptions of life during those times and he is able to create a stunning image of the scenery and locations visited in the books.
The main theme of the Sackett series is family. Many of the characters live apart but whenever a Sackett is in trouble, the other members of the family will come to their aid immediately.
The main plot line of all of the books sees a Sackett family member face an enemy and the series is one where the good guys always prevail over the bad guys.
There is a strong theme of morality and justice throughout the books and this is approached in a very black-and-white manner.
In most books, the main plot line begins and ends within the same book, but as there are certain introductions and character developments that develop throughout the series, it is recommended to read the books in chronological order. This is different from the release order.
Sackett Books In Order
Here are the 17 Sackett books listed in chronological release order. This is the recommended order to read them.
Although the first book chronologically, this was the twelfth book released in 1974. Barnabas Sackett discovers six gold Roman coins buried deep in the mud of the Devil’s Dyke in England.
He takes the money from the coins and invests it in some goods that he can offer for trade when he arrives in America. However, Barnabas has a powerful enemy in the form of Rupert Genester.
Rupert’s inheritance is at risk because of a promise made to Barnabas’ father so he arranges for Barnabas to be kidnapped by pirates and thrown into the sea. Can Barnabas make his way to America and discover the truth behind the promise made to his father?
- The book is full of adventure and exciting events
- The events of the plot are very convenient and coincidental at times
This second book chronologically is also the thirteenth book published. The gold coins that Barnabus discovered in Sackett’s Land have landed Barnabus with a royal warrant for his capture.
The coins were thought to be part of a treasure lost by King John and therefore, the rightful property of the royal family.
As Barnabus had some of the treasure, Queen Bess thinks he might have the rest and has sent men to capture him. Barnabus has to avoid capture and prove his innocence or he might face the gallows.
- An important book that sets up the rest of the series
- The second half of the book doesn’t flow as well as the first
Released in 1984, this is the sixteenth book to be published but the third chronologically. The focus of the story moves to Yance and Kin Sackett, two brothers of the Sackett family and Barnabus’s sons.
Yance’s sister-in-law, Diana, is kidnapped, and the brothers are determined to find her. They’re able to track her to a little town that is superstitious and full of witchcraft accusations and discover that Diana’s kidnapping isn’t as straightforward as they thought.
- The additional locations make the book stand out and more interesting
- There is little tension as most things happen very easily for Yance and Kin
Released in 1985, this is the seventeenth book to be published but the fourth chronologically. The titular character, Jubal Sackett, wants to explore and he jumps at the chance when a Natchez priest sends him on a quest.
Jubal heads into the Far Seeing Lands, a seemingly never-ending stretch of grassy plains, to find a Natchez exploration party.
The party is led by Itchakomi, the future head of the Natchez, and she is on her way to defeat her arch-rival. Jubal’s quest sends him into danger and potentially into love as well.
- Lots of background information about frontier times
- Some plot points and events are difficult to believe
Although it’s the fifth in the series, Ride the River was the fifteenth book to be published and was released in 1983. Echo Sackett is 16 years old and she has never ventured far from home before.
However, Echo must make the long journey from Tennessee to Philadelphia if she wants to collect her inheritance. The journey is long and tiring, but it’s not as challenging as the lawyer that is waiting at the end.
- Well-written female protagonist
- The narrative switches disrupt the flow of the novel
Finally, we arrive at the first Sackett book to be written and published in 1960. Tyrel Sackett takes center stage and after the death of a man weighs heavily on him, he starts to travel west with his brother, Orrin.
As Tyrel and Orrin travel and find their new home, they are given a view of Frontier America and try to make it a better place. Both were men of justice and they try to instill this justice everywhere they go.
- The two brothers are likable characters
- A predictable but still enjoyable plot
Lando was the third Sackett book to be published and was released in 1962. Orlando “Lando” Sackett spent several tough years in a Mexican prison and it was only his prowess as a boxer and his own determination that saw him survive.
Now that he is free and back in America, Lando has three tasks he needs to complete. However, during his time in prison, the world has moved on and things have drastically changed. Lando must face up to his past if he is to have a future.
- Orlando is a complicated and likable protagonist
- A slow start to the book makes the first half tough to read
The second book to be released but the eighth chronologically, Sackett was released in 1961. It introduces William Tell Sackett, the older brother of Orrin and Tyrel.
Tell Sackett’s story is very different from that of his brothers as he heads to Texas after killing a man. While in Texas, he discovers some gold and he thinks that his dreams have been answered. However, Tell finds out that gold can solve some problems but it creates many as well.
- Vivid descriptions of the settings make the action easy to imagine
- The story doesn’t flow as well as in other books in the series
Next in the series is Mojave Crossing, the fourth book to be published. Tell Sackett has a long journey ahead of him and he can’t take his mind off the heavy gold in the saddlebags of his horse.
When he meets Dorinda Robiseau during his journey, he knows that she is trouble. He also knows that taking her to Los Angeles is a bad idea.
That doesn’t prevent him from helping, however, and he finds himself traveling with a person he doesn’t know into danger he doesn’t recognize.
- A good mystery at the heart of the plot
- Many of Tell’s actions and successes are too easy and convenient
Released in 1965, The Sackett Brand was the fifth book to be released but is the tenth chronologically. The book continues to focus on Tell Sackett as he begins his new life in Arizona with his wife, Ange.
However, Tell is attacked and left injured by unknown assailants, leaving him all alone and defenseless. He must figure out who attacked him and why, and also try to find out where his missing wife is.
- Entertaining action that is easy to invest in
- A predictable and abrupt ending
Released in 1967, The Sky-Liners was the seventh Sackett novel to be released and it introduces two new Sacketts as the protagonists. Flagan and Galloway Sackett are on their way west to find their fortune and new lives for themselves.
On their journey, they meet a trader who offers them the use of two horses if they agree to escort his daughter, Judith, to Colorado. Flagan is suspicious from the start but they need the horses, so they agree.
Soon, they discover the circumstances behind why Judith needs to get to Colorado and away from Tennessee and it leads to an exciting but dangerous chase.
- Filled with action and men fighting with honor
- Some minor questions about the plot still remain at the end of the book
The Lonely Men was released in 1969 and is the eighth Sackett book to be released, but the 12th, chronologically. The Lonely Men goes back to the story of Tell Sackett as he is once again the protagonist of the book.
When Apache Indians kidnap Tell’s nephew, he has to take a perilous journey to get the boy back. However, there’s something about his nephew’s mother that doesn’t sit right with Tell and he wonders if there is more to this kidnapping and rescue mission than it appears at first glance.
- Wonderful descriptions of the surroundings and world
- The plot is thin and not as well-developed as some other books in the series
This is number thirteen in the series chronologically but was the sixth novel published when it was released in 1966. Nolan Sackett takes center stage and the story begins when he meets Penelope Hume.
She’s the heir to a large amount of gold but that isn’t the only reason why Nolan is interested in her. The treasure belongs to Penelope’s grandfather and there are relatives of Penelope’s that are also trying to make a claim to the gold.
Nolan and Penelope need to avoid her murderous relatives and navigate dangerous terrain if they are to get the gold.
- Good to learn more about Nolan Sackett and who he really is
- One of the slower-paced Sackett novels
Galloway was released in 1970, making it the ninth book to be published but the fourteenth chronologically. After being captured by a group of Apaches, Flagan Sackett has managed to escape and is waiting for his brother, Galloway, to find him.
Although the brothers have been reunited, their troubles have not yet finished. Their plans to create a new ranch for themselves have angered the wrong people and they’ll need help from the other Sacketts to defend themselves.
- The Sackett family working together is great to read about
- Some elements of the plot are too convenient and difficult to believe
Released in 1972, Treasure Mountain was the eleventh book in the series written but is the fifteenth chronologically. Orrin and Tell Sackett take center stage as they aim to discover the truth behind their father’s disappearance.
While in Louisiana, they enlist the help of a Gypsy and a voodoo priest to trace their father’s last journey. It’s a dangerous journey, however, and the brothers need to be on top of their game to survive.
- The book allows you to get closer to the characters, especially Tell
- One of the slower and more drawn-out novels in the series
This is the penultimate novel in the series chronologically but was the tenth to be released. The book introduces Logan Sackett, a wild drifter that is looking for an easy life.
During his journey, he meets the widow Emily Talon, who is defending her home from the locals who want to take it from her. When Logan learns that Emily was born a Sackett, he agrees to help her. Family is family after all, and the Sacketts stick together.
- A great example of how important family is to the Sacketts
- The ending isn’t as clean and definitive as it could have been
Lonely on the Mountain is the last book in the series but was the fourteenth to be released. Tell Sackett receives a letter from his cousin, Logan. Logan is in trouble and he needs Tell’s help and Tell is always going to help his family.
The journey to Logan isn’t without peril, however. He must travel across dangerous lands and there is an unknown enemy following his every move.
- Plenty of action throughout the book
- Some inconsistencies in the story compared to previous novels
In this article, I introduced the Sackett series by Louis L’Amour. This seventeen-book series is one of the most popular works in the Western genre and L’Amour is widely known as one of the best Western writers of all time.
The novels in the series were released over a 30-year period and were not released in chronological order.
Although most books have a standalone plot that both begins and ends in the same novel, there are some character developments throughout the series that make chronological order the best reading order.
All of the Sackett books are concerned with family and show strong male characters doing what is right. They’re action-packed, full of twists and turns, and go into great and vivid detail about life during Frontier times.
If you’re interested in Westerns or the history of America during those years, I highly recommend this series.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about the Sackett series.
Does The Sackett Series Need To Be Read In Order?
The Sackett series is one of those rare series that does not need to be read in release order.
They can be seen as standalone novels so you can jump around the series, but most readers prefer reading them in chronological order than in publication order
Are There Other Books Associated With The Sackett Series?
There are several other books written by Louis L’Armour that accompany the main books in the Sackett series. There are several short stories and a companion non-fiction book, for example.