From Publishers Weekly
Lipsyte fans will be delighted to discover that the final installment in the trilogy begun by The Contender is worthy, in every way, of the fine novels that preceded it. The language, concise and powerful, moves the story along at a seemingly effortless clip; its staccato cadences are guaranteed to raise more than a few goosebumps. Sonny Bear, the half-Moscondaga, half-white protagonist of The Brave , is back, eking out a meager living on the professional boxing circuit. Also making a return appearance is aspiring novelist Marty Witherspoon, Sonny's old friend and the tale's narrator, who finds himself acting as publicity manager for the aspiring heavyweight champ on an impromptu trip to Las Vegas. Marty's angling lands Sonny in a glitzy and highly publicized match, which indirectly leads him into the hands of a bunch of Hollywood agents who want to make him the country's next TV idol. Before the glamour can take too much of a toll on him, violent events call Sonny back to the reservation, where a newly built casino threatens to destroy the soul of the Moscondaga Nation. Dramatic doings, terse and thrilling language and deftly sketched characters produce a heart-pounding read. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
In a third episode, larger-than-life boxer Sonny Bear fights battles in and out of the ring--and within himself--on his climb to the top. Cheated of his amateur title at the end of The Brave (1991) and disgusted by a series of crooked local fights, Sonny is ready to throw in the towel when he lands a job as sparring partner for an aging boxer making a quixotic comeback attempt. The resulting press attention takes him to L.A. and TV producers' fantasyland, but he turns away from the life of a lotus-eater to solve a violent dispute over legalized gambling back on the reservation. Part of the ensuing compromise is a scheduled bout with the heavyweight champ at the new casino. Sonny's rise to fame is seen through the eyes of Martin Witherspoon, an overweight black college student and would-be writer who, like his well-muscled friend, wrestles with self-doubt but rises to the occasion at need. Sports-journalist Lipsyte writes authoritatively about the world of boxing, moving his story at a headlong pace with pulse-pounding action scenes and providing characters with cocky dialogue; by concluding moments before Sonny enters the ring, he forces readers to consider his larger themes. Memorable sports fiction. (Fiction. 12+) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.