When the Legends Die

By: Hal Borland


"When the Legends Die" begins with the main character, Thomas Black Bull. He is a young boy growing up with the old Ute Indian culture while the rest of the country is industrializing. His parents pass away and he is sent to a reservation where he is forced to learn the new ways. He runs away and ends up running into an old bronc rider, Red, who takes him in and trains him to ride. Tom got very good at riding, so they began going to small rodeos all over the southern and southwestern part of the country. At first they hustled riders at the little rodeos making money on them everywhere they went. Thomas did not like doing this because they would always be running from angry men at the end of the rodeos. Red would make Tom lose at some rodeos to keep people from being suspicious. One day Tom got fed up, hit Red, and left him alone in a hotel room. He knew he was good so he started going to big rodeos and won big money. He would go on drinking spells and blow every dime he had earned in the prior season.

Review of the Book

I thought that this was a very good book. It throws the reader for a loop many times in the book. For example, Thomas grew up as a young indian in the mountains and just short years later he is a world champion bronc rider. The author does a good job of keeping the reader on their toes at all times. I would suggest that anyone can should give this book. However, I would highly recommend this book to people who are an outdoors type or have an interest in farming or the rodeo. City folk may not find this book very intriguing. I personally like most that he is able to survive for so many years without much guidance.


Favorite Passage

"He wasn't riding for time or for the crowd. He was riding for himself. And he wasn't riding the bay. He was riding a hurt and a hate, deep inside. The blood drummed in his ears, his teeth ached with the pounding, but he held his rhythm."

I liked this passage because it explains why Thomas decides to keep getting on these huge animals who want to kill him. He has a deep hate in his body from the people who have always done wrong by him and who has been trying to change who he is as a person. He rides the horses so hard that he will kill some throughout the story. He doesn't care about the winnings or the people cheering for him because he is so focused on punishing the horse as much as he can in the eight seconds he gets on the horse.

Works Cited

"Movie Market - Buy Celebrity Photos, Movie Posters, Autographed Memorabilia and Vintage Photos for Sale." Movie Market - Buy Celebrity Photos, Movie Posters, Autographed Memorabilia and Vintage Photos for Sale. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2013.

"MovieTradeHouse." MovieTradeHouse. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2013.

Borland, Hal. When the Legends Die. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1963. Print.