- 95,00 kr
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.
Punke (The Revenant) again brings the Old West to life in this engrossing account of the violence and horror of a Wyoming massacre that presaged the Battle of Little Big Horn. On Dec. 21, 1866, Lakota war leader Crazy Horse lured 80 U.S. soldiers into a trap, slaughtering all of them. A prologue set on the fateful day teases what's to come, with Crazy Horse's advance unit of decoys surprised by the cavalry soldiers' new rapid-fire rifles. Punke then shifts back five months, as Crazy Horse becomes aware of an ominous development. The American military has decided to establish a new outpost, Fort Phil Kearney, to deter Native American attacks on those traveling to and from Montana's gold fields. Gen. William Sherman believes construction of the fort is permitted under a treaty, despite scout Jim Bridger's explanation that the agreement had been entered into with chiefs who didn't represent the affected Native American bands. Once Crazy Horse spots white women and children at the fort, he realizes the soldiers are not there simply for defensive purposes, and that settlement of the area is in the works. The tensions build, culminating in Crazy Horse's plan to take advantage of the American military's discounting of the alliance of tribes and their ability to strategize. Punke makes the battle vivid, and draws deep characterizations of individuals on both sides, exploring Crazy Horse's fear of impending change, U.S. soldiers' indifference to fighting, and a captain's lament of the breakdown of discipline and reason within the battalion's leadership. This is historical fiction at its best.