Synopses & Reviews
Michael Punke, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Revenant--the basis for the Academy Award-winning film starring Leonardo DiCaprio--returns to the nineteenth-century western frontier with a story of the plains wars.
In December 1866, tensions were rising in Wyoming, between the Native American tribes who had lived on the land for generations and the settlers who would destroy their home. Crazy Horse and his fellow Lakota hunters had been watching for months as Colonel Carrington and his army set up camp on one of the most crucial swaths of hunting ground in hundreds of miles, and began to build forts. More disconcertingly, the settlers had brought women and children, which meant they planned to stay.
As the Lakota and neighboring tribes set forth with repeated attacks to discourage the settlers, Captain William J. Fetterman, anxious and arrogant, claimed that he could take offense and rid the area of Native American people with only a small army of eighty men. And he would--unless Crazy Horse could find a way to lure the army to their doom.
A story of protection and betrayal, of courage, wit, and perseverance against unfathomable odds, Ridgeline grapples with essential questions about who owns land: those who are born on it, or those who would kill to claim it.
The thrilling, long-awaited return of the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Revenant
In 1866, with the country barely recovered from the Civil War, new war breaks out on the western frontier--a clash of cultures between the Native tribes who have lived on the land for centuries and a young, ambitious nation. Colonel Henry Carrington arrives in Wyoming's Powder River Valley to lead the US Army in defending the opening of a new road for gold miners and settlers. Carrington intends to build a fort in the middle of critical hunting grounds, the home of the Lakota. Red Cloud, one of the Lakota's most respected chiefs, and Crazy Horse, a young but visionary warrior, understand full well the implications of this invasion. For the Lakota, the stakes are their home, their culture, their lives.
As fall bleeds into winter, Crazy Horse leads a small war party that confronts Colonel Carrington's soldiers with near constant attacks. Red Cloud, meanwhile, wants to build the tribal alliances that he knows will be necessary to defeat the soldiers. Colonel Carrington seeks to hold together a US Army beset with internal discord. Carrington's officers are skeptical of their commander's strategy, none more so than Lieutenant George Washington Grummond, who longs to fight a foe he dismisses as inferior in all ways. The rank-and-file soldiers, meanwhile, are still divided by the residue of civil war, and tempted to desertion by the nearby goldfields.
Throughout this taut saga--based on real people and events--Michael Punke brings the same immersive, vivid storytelling and historical insight that made his breakthrough debut so memorable. As Ridgeline builds to its epic conclusion, it grapples with essential questions of conquest and justice that still echo today.