I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is t to the swift, r the battle to the strong . . . but time and chance happenethto them all. Ecclesiastes 9:11With these words, the epitaph Padre Martnez chose for himself, the reader is drawn into a stirring and provocative biography recounted by a master storyteller.Fray Angelico Chavez, articulate and well-versed in New Mexicana, vividly records the life of the controversial Padre of Taos so that the reader gains full measure of his surroundings and o the times.Martnez was continually at the forefront of the public and political forums . . . a master of jurisprudence and can law . . . a champion of the underdog. With the advent of Bishop Lamy, public attention became focused on these two dynamic personalities. Their philosophic differences ultimately led to Martnez suspension and excommunication.Chavez was a curious and indefatigable researcher and he used these talents well while delving into the facts and legends surrounding Padre Martinez most poignant and colorful life-drama . . . a personality to be reckoned with, whether as hero or villain, or both.Readers will, at once, share with Chavez his absorption in this man and, also wonder . . . how such a phemen could have sprouted and bloomed under the most adverse circumstances of time and place.