Another superior Culp tale of the Old West which pitilessly disinters the suffering and violence in the lives of white captives in a Comanche village--through the dispersal and slaughter of the Indians and the establishment of settled ""civilized"" towns. Although the whites in Sun Eagle's village--honest and courageous, miserable and lonely, in various degrees of assimilation--lead lives dictated by the danger and uncertainty of their situation, it is through the career of Ceste, deserted in her childhood by her father, that the times are traversed. In youth, protected and loved by the white captives, courted by a hostile brave from another tribe, married to the son of the village's white leader, widowed, eventually an outcast, Cesre ends her life scorned and rejected, as the former captives of the camp become the aristocracy of the new town after the Indians' defeat. Heat, dust and the nerve-snapping tension of approaching death give this novel a looming hint of a deeper existentialist overview which the author really has not fully exploited. Perhaps in the crush of the ugly facts of human behavior there is little room for a sharper probe into motivation. Thereby the characters are diminished somewhat, and the drama is muted by too many ""little"" scenes, not sufficiently weighted, but Mr. Culp is still one of the more honest and artful artisans in the genre.