A riveting novel, sweeping in scope, based on the historical events and participants—male and female, Native and non-Native, military and civilian—of the Dakota War of 1862. As the nation is focused on the Civil War another kind of conflict is brewing in the Minnesota frontier that will test the Dakota chief Little Crow and young army lieutenant Timothy Sheehan.
The Dakota have ceded most of their lands in return for cash payments, but they are now close to starving, and the annuities are late. Anger is growing among the young braves, whose traditional paths toward honor are increasingly blocked by the encroaching white population, while the deceit of unscrupulous traders and government agents adds to their resentment. Cool-headed Lieutenant Sheehan is sent to keep the peace. Sympathetic to the Dakota’s plight but also determined to protect the citizens of Minnesota, he soon finds himself at odds with both his superiors and Little Crow, a chief who has recently fallen out of favor for his role in negotiating the treaties but who sees an opportunity to lead his people once again.