The Modoc Indians have fled the reservation, putting local settlers on edge and prompting the arrival of Army advisor Jed Britton.
Luash, a young Modoc tribeswoman and the voice of the Modoc Eagle Spirit, speaks English and is chosen as Jed's interpreter.
Luash distrusts white men, Jed in particular, and intends to fight him and his bureaucracy to protect her people's traditional way of life.
Jed, who was nearly scalped by the Sioux during an attack that claimed his best friend, loathes Indians.
But as the pair clash in a fiery war of wills both come to realize that neither can win until they commit themselves to securing a new future for the Modoc and submit to the mutual love taking root in their hearts.
"A fast-paced multicultural western romance. No one does Native American historical novels better than Vella Munn" ~Affaire de Coeur
"...a powerful, exciting read." ~Romantic Times
THE SOUL SURVIVORS SERIES, in series order
Spirit of the Eagle
The River's Daughter
In yet another western romance about whites and Indians in America's Northwest, Munn (Daughter of the Forest) compresses the saga of white settlement and Indian dislocation into a tale of star-crossed lovers. The Modoc War of 1872-73 along the Oregon-California border is the setting as Luash, a beautiful young Modoc woman and the niece of the Modoc chief, Captain Jack, finds romance with young Army officer Jed Britton. Fiercely proud of her heritage, Luash fervently hates the white man and draws her strength from the Eagle, her spirit guide. Touted as a tough, veteran Indian fighter, Jed is sent by General Custer to assist in the subjugation of the Modocs. While Luash is strong and certain, Jed comes across as fearful and indecisive, a weak and unlikely hero. As Captain Jack leads a spirited defense against the Army's sloppy attempts to dislodge the Modocs from their traditional lands, Jed and Luash meet secretly throughout the siege and their love grows despite the bitterness and suspicion between them. Munn's portrait of Modoc history and landscape is impressive but problematic. It's almost too realistic, drawing attention to the fact that things end much better for the lovers than for the Modocs. Consequently, readers will have to flip a coin to decide whether the final accord between Luash and Jed is a genuinely redemptive vision of coexistence or whether it's a sentimental clunker of a conclusion.