Grinning Man by Orson Scott Card
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The alternate history/fantasy version of our world in which the Alvin Maker tale takes place results in meeting historical characters, who are the same and different at the same time. In the frontier of Kenituck, Alvin and his apprentice, the half-Black, Arthur Stuart come across the titular “Grinning Man” Davy Crockett who is grinning down a grizzly bear. After watching the confrontation, Alvin and Davy don’t get off on the right foot as the later accuses the former of being a thief.
After the two parties go their separate ways, Alvin and Arthur arrive in Westville to find Crockett has been there falsely warning the town about the two “thieves”. The town’s miller, Rack Miller, however is inclined to believe Alvin protestations of innocence and welcomes them to his home. Alvin then finds out that Rack is crooked and sets about to ruin him while positioning for a chastened Crockett to take over as the “miller”. All round a very enjoyable story.