Riders of the Purple Sage

Riders of the Purple Sage

4.1 85
by Zane Grey

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Riders of the Purple Sage tells the story of Jane Withersteen, a young and devoutly religious Mormon woman caught between the persecution of religious zealots in her community seeking her land, her wealth, and her freedom to live as she wishes.

Set in Utah during the nineteenth century, Zane Grey questions the right of a religion to tyrannize its followers…  See more details below


Riders of the Purple Sage tells the story of Jane Withersteen, a young and devoutly religious Mormon woman caught between the persecution of religious zealots in her community seeking her land, her wealth, and her freedom to live as she wishes.

Set in Utah during the nineteenth century, Zane Grey questions the right of a religion to tyrannize its followers and deprive them of freedom in the name of good, and offers an unstinting critique on the practice of polygamy in the Old West.

Then a mysterious gunslinger, Lassiter rides into town...

Lassiter is the original mythic Western hero. In him we see the unmistakable origins of every John Wayne, Clint Eastwood Alan Ladd, Gary Cooper movie in which a lone gunmen lays his life on the line, steeling himself for the final showdown with the pack of murderous villains.

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Editions Artisan Devereaux, LLC
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Riders of the Purple Sage 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 85 reviews.
aka_Mariabella More than 1 year ago
The rugged West was once a great hunger for the United States. The Western was gobbled up by young and old and the spirit of adventure was very much alive. As time has progressed and technology has sped up all processes to hyper speed - the West and its adventure have become dusty and old. As I get older, I yearn for the 'old days' and crave to know what it was like to live in the time of the pioneers. Reading Riders of the Purple Sage allowed me to take a glimpse into a rough and tumble past and explore a region and time I will never get to experience. Its hard to imagine a time when the law of the land was the one with the biggest gun and the best shooting. Or a time when women had few, if any options to them and were essentially at the mercy of the men around them. As fascinating as the characters in the book - what I got from Riders of the Sage was the raw majesty of the land surrounding them. The Sage, the cliffs, the towns became characters for me within the book. Even if I were to travel to the far flung areas that were once the border of the Western frontier; it would not be the same. Time and technology will have invariably changed it as it has all of the world. Zane Grey brought to life the stark nature of the West and its people. I think it is time for us to explore a little bit of what we once were as a country - even if it is through a little great fiction. Zane Grey had a great way of capturing the West and giving us a glimpse into how it was won. While many who read the book might rail at the portrayal of Mormonism - I didn't really see it as a study of the religion. Merely one viewpoint of Mormonism at the time. I found meaning in the 10,000 foot view as it were - and saw it as a great 'study' of the West.
dec0558 More than 1 year ago
To "Do Your Reserach First" I say that YOU should do your research first into Mormon history before commenting on a novel that even Mormon historians and artists hail as a great work of American literature. I am a Mormon, a BYU graduate and a Mormon historians myself. Every point you made about 19th century Utah Mormon culture, church governments and history in your review below is incorrect. Obviously you are either an LDS convert or you've done little if any reserach into your own history. The so-called "Avenging Angels" (Danites) of Pioneer Utah WERE a reality. Bill Hickman and Porter Rockwell were among the most famous of them--and among the most famous (and violent) Gun fighters of the old West. You also seem to overlook that the portrayal of the Mormons in "Riders of the Purple Sage" is mostly positive. The heroin IS a Mormon and REMAINS a Mormon. Since the novel is set in 1870's Utah where 99% of the population was Mormon, it makes complete sense that both the "Good guys" and the "bad guys" in the novel should BOTH be Mormons. When I attended Brigham Young University in the 1980s and took a class in Mormon Literature, "Riders of the Purple Sage" was required reading.
Zane Grey spent a great deal of his life living in "Mormon Country" (the Rocky Mountain states where Mormons then made up the majority of the population.) He knew what he was writing about.

Now for everyone else reading this: If you want to know the origin of the Western novel read "Riders of the Pruple Sage." It is THE book that created the genre. (And other Mormons should be proud that the FIRST American Western is a Mormon story. Mormons were--after all--the first white Americans to settle in the western states.)
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first of three Zane Grey books that I read in the last month. Having visited the south west recently for the first time, these books really came alive for me. I plan to read every Zane Grey book that I can get my hands on and reccommend his books highly.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not since A Tale of Two Cities have I read an author with such command of the English language. Perhaps what sets Grey apart from most other authors is his description of action. One of the chase scenes is absolutely breathtaking. And when I closed the book, I said aloud, 'Wow, that was perfect.'
Pearl_Tan More than 1 year ago
Westerns are not my thing, but the author uses beautiiful language. Ending is a bit sudden, but made me interested in the sequel, "the Rainbow Bridge."
SusieKS More than 1 year ago
My father, who is 104, loves Zane Grey and loved this book. With the large print it made it easy for him to read and enjoy. He loves to read these books over and over and I am sure this one will be read many times. The paperback version was a lot easier for him to handle as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book when I was in college as part of a course on Specialty Writing. Zane Gray and Louis L'Amour were both held up as the writers who defined the genre of the Western. Not only is this a great novel, it IS a historically accurate one! Notwithstanding people who want to ignore the often extremely bloody history of the Mormon church, this book simply tells it like it is! Zane writes this books against the backdrop of a religion that had Avenging Angels to enforce the will of Brigham Young. That's even in the Mormon written histories! These weren't just a few 'excommunicated' renegades. No! These were sanctioned bullies who killed and beat and burned their way into history. Let's not forget that the United States government sent troops to deal with the polygamous tyrants who ran Utah. That was the Utah War. We should not rewrite history to make certain folks feel better. That's not right. If we can talk about the Spanish Inquisition for the Catholics or the murder of innocent men, women, children and religious by King Henry the 8th or the cruelties supported by the Southern Baptists during the Jim Crow days down South, then I'm afraid that a well written, novel on a bunch of bully boys is in order too. This is a well done novel full of suspense and action and TRUTH with only the names changed to protect the very guilty.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the setting
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the descriptions of nature and of humanity. In true American style story telling, the ending was a happy one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
wroberthelms More than 1 year ago
The type on this version is too small. When I bumped the font size up one notch it was then too big. I don't recommend this version. Buy the $0.99 version instead.
Anonymous 5 days ago
...Flies in... (is this clan better than rockclan at diq res one?)
Anonymous 5 days ago
My name is Purkit and i have been rejected three times today. ;(
Anonymous 3 months ago
A kit scurries in energetically. "Hwewwo!
Anonymous 4 months ago
If it is, then i have an old RP cat who i wanna bring back!
Anonymous 4 months ago
Anonymous 5 months ago
Pretty brown she cat walks in "may I join? My name is nightfall. Im sort of related to skyfall"
Anonymous 6 months ago
Sits his tail curled around his paws
Anonymous 6 months ago
Wanders into the camp
Anonymous 6 months ago
Pads in cautiously
Anonymous 6 months ago
She emerges from the shadows, alongside her clan.
Anonymous 6 months ago
A feiry ginger she cat walks in with flaming wings "im here to join" she snarls folding in her wings
Anonymous 6 months ago
Heyo who is leader
Anonymous 6 months ago
She padded in. Shifting her one green wing and the red one. She looked around.
Anonymous 6 months ago
He padded into the empty clearing, setting down his bundle of herbs. His large red wings shifted. "Perfect." He purred.