RIDE THE WIND by Lucia St. Clair Robson
Kirkus Star


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Although lacking the urbane ease of Aztec or the teeth-grinding scholarship of Hanta Yo, this fact-based saga about a white child raised as a Comanche (1839-1870) does have plenty of blood and dust, whoop and holler, gruesome slaughter and smoke-hole coziness--plus a right-minded stance on the unjust decimation of an Indian nation. In 1836 Comanches and other tribes raid Parker's Fort in East Texas--murdering, raping, collecting scalps, and carrying away Cynthia Ann Parker (nine), her brother Frank (six), and their adult cousin Rachel. . . who'll die after being set free. But Cynthia and John are adopted by the Wasp and Honey Eater bands of the Comanches--and soon the children, now ""Naduah"" and ""Bear Cub,"" are devoted to their new families and the kind of freedom they never had with their Bible-toting white relations. Naduah eagerly absorbs Comanche ways and mores, from the curing of buffalo hide to ritual dances; she acquires a pony and a pet pronghorn; and, above all, she is drawn to her former captor and future mate, Wanderer, whose true home (of the Antelope People) is on the Staked Plains. As for Bear Cub, his ""grandfather,"" Old Owl, is forced to return him to the whites--but Bear Cub will eventually return, wise in both worlds. There are massacres (the whites encroach on Indian land), tortures and cruelties on both sides. And eventually Naduah, now mother of two, will withdraw with Wanderer to the Staked Plains. But death awaits both--at the hands of Naduah's own, original people. Shrieking warfare, buffalo hunts, floods and cold, stubble-chinned Texas talk among lone Rangers, an historical celeb or two, and dancing around the old scalp pole: sanguinary adventure in a stout historical frame.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1982
Publisher: Ballantine