Killer of Witches

In the cold November wind of 1865, five hundred Mescalero Apaches at the Bosque Redondo Apache-Navajo concentration camp near Fort Sumner, New Mexico, vanished one night under the watchful eyes of the US Army. They were never caught. Among them is a five year-old boy who becomes a legend around the fires of the Mescalero.

Ussen, God, Creator of life, gives the boy, grown to a warrior, a gift of Power. With his Power he is so accurate with his Yellow Boy Henry rifle he can kill witches by shooting their eyes to send them forever blind to the Happy Land of the grandfathers; he is immune to ghost sickness; and he will be known as Yellow Boy.

Yellow Boy must soon test his Power to find and kill a giant, Mexican-Comanche witch, his bald head painted to look like a skull, his body tattooed with black spirals and flames, and the leader of a band of Comanches and Mexican banditos who have murdered and scalped all but a small remnant of Yellow Boy's People. It is a hunt and odyssey that ranges for years across the American southwest and Mexican Sierra Madre Mountains.

Killer of Witches is a powerful story; truth told with fiction transporting the reader to a different background, culture, history, time, and religion. It is the other side of Apache history told by a People fighting the tsunami of Americans migrating west and the terrors of supernatural beliefs appearing in their lives.



Advanced Review Copy Endorsements

It is about time to have a western writer include an Apache as the central hero of an expansive trilogy. Michael Farmer has created a major character, Yellow Boy, who happens to be caught between two worlds. He suffers because of this and also triumphs as he tries to protect his people. Clever, follower of the ancient ways, yet knowing he has to adjust, Yellow Boy is bold, and pushes the boundaries we all understand when it comes to cultural change. More than well researched, this book is dramatic and heart rending yet could be true beyond our wildest imaginations as one follows the men and women of his band deep into the rugged and magnificent landscapes we know from Southern New Mexico and the canyon recesses of the Mexican Sierra Madre. Book I of yet another trilogy by Farmer is a keeper.

Lynda A. Sánchez,
Author, Historian and Educator
Lincoln, New Mexico

In Killer of Witches, W. Michael Farmer brings history to life better than many historians. His story-teller, an Apache warrior, takes readers on an amazing journey and leaves us with a new appreciation for the Mescalero Apache and the challenges that came with the Mexican and American invaders. Rich with details of Apache life in the tumultuous nineteenth century, Killer of Witches subtly educates as it entertains.

Anne Hillerman
NY Times best-selling author of "Rock With Wings"

Michael Farmer's novel Killer of Witches is a carefully-researched adventure about a Mescalero Apache named Yellow Boy who on a warpath littered with gritty surprises. Along the way we learn about Apache traditions as well as superstitions. When picking up this book, readers should get set for a hard and fast ride across our Old Southwest. Yellow Boy takes few prisoners

Phyllis de la Garza,
Author of The Apache Kid, Hell Horse Winter of the Apache Kid, Death for Dinner


W. Michael Farmer, Ph.D.

W. Michael Farmer holds a Ph.D. in physics. His first novel, Hombrecito's War, was a finalist for a Western Writer's of America Spur award for best first novel in 2006 and a New Mexico Book Awards Finalist for Historical Fiction in 2007. A sequel, Hombrecito's Search, was published in July 2007. Conspiracy: The Trial of Oliver Lee and James Gililland, published in 2009, is his third novel. His next novel tells the little-known story of Pancho Villa's División del Norte's long, grueling march across the Sierra Madre and Villa's betrayal at the battle of Agua Prieta in 1914.