What is the setting of Last of the Breed?

Last of the Breed by Louis L'Amour is set in Siberia, first in a Siberian prison were US Air Force pilot Joseph “Mack” Makatozi is being held and then in the Siberian wilderness after Mack makes his escape and travels cross country. The Siberian village of Taiga also provides the backdrop for several of the novel's scenes.

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Louis L'Amour is famous for his Westerns, and many, if not most, of his books are set in the western wilds of the United States. Last of the Breed, however, is not. It is actually set in Siberia! The time is the 1980s, and US Air Force pilot Joseph “Mack” Makatozi has been captured by the Soviets, who want to get information out of him about U.S. aircraft technology.

Mack is a Native American, and with the help of a fellow prisoner, he manages to escape from a Siberian prison. He then begins a journey that will carry him across the wilds of Siberia, chased by his nemesis, the tracker Alekhin. Mack is relatively comfortable in the woods and mountains of Siberia because he has learned the ancestral skills of the Native American people. He can find food and hunt. He can travel quickly and even make a bow and arrows and a winter coat out of a bear skin.

Mack eventually arrives in the Siberian village of Taiga, where he helps the villagers hunt for food. In turn, most of them protect him. Alekhin tracks Mack down, but Mack kills him in the end. Then he determines that he will take a kayak across the Bering Strait to Alaska, escaping Siberia at last, although readers are left wondering if Mack ever made it back to American soil.

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