Riders of the Purple Sage Zane Grey - Riders of the Purple Sage" is Zane Grey's best-known novel. Originally published in 1912, it was one of the earliest works of Western fiction and played a significant role in popularizing that genre. The story uses a third person narrator to tell the story from the point of view of two main characters Bern Venter and Jane Withersteen and a few minor characters. Jane Withersteen, Mormon-born Utah native, goes against her church when she befriends a young Gentile rider, Venters. He is trailing the mysterious Masked Rider through the Old West. Both Venters and a notorious gunman named Lassiter bring adventure, intrigue, and romance to the Withersteen ranch. The story is also somewhat complex, with several plots unfolding that eventually come together at the end of the story, and conveniently leave open the certainty of a sequel.