Seventeenth volume in L'Amour's Sackett family Western epic though fourth in time, being set in the 17th century. Following a call, young Jubal Sackett leaves his Virginia home to find his own place in the far blue mountains beyond the Great River. He falls in with Keokotah, a Kickapoo Indian, and is befriended by a Natchee medicine man who wants Jubal to find the Natchees' Sun maiden--Itchakomi Ishia, who speaks with the tongue of a man long dead and has led some Natchees into the Far Seeing Lands (the Plains), but now is needed back home again. Later, alone, Jubal calamitously breaks his leg, has to lay up in a cave. But never despairing, he eats leaves and roots, sets snares, drinks hot chicory. Battles a panther by hand. Keokotah returns, nurses him and they push off into the Midwest. Itchakomi at last appears--a kind of Peruvian beauty and quite snooty. All hole up in a cave, with Jubal as chief, to await the passing of winter so that she can return home. But Itchakomi gets eyes for Jubal. Meanwhile, unfriendly Conejero Indians led by the bad apple Kapata from Itchakomi's tribe pursue them--Kapata wants Komi for his mate. After endless pages of flirting, Komi and Jubal marry, and build a fort for the Natchees to move to as their new home. But now irate Spanish troops show up and the newlyweds also find themselves between warring Pawness and Komantsis. Jubal finally kills Kapata in a hand-to-hand knife fight, and the climax is the appearance of a ferocious, wounded, hairy elephant (last of the mastadons). All in all, primer-plain and told at a nice lope, with plenty of lore and authentic flora and fauna, hunting and skinning, bloody fights, and wood-fires for cookouts and reading under the stars.