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Posted December 12, 1999
Michael Kosser's Walks On The Wind tells the tale of a fictional character, Arapaho warrior Walks On The Wind & the trials he must face when white settlers invade his Colorado homeland to found the city of Denver. Like John Jake's North & South, Kosser paints a picture of a highly believable fictional character who symbolizes and expresses the hopes, dreams, & frustrations of the average people caught up in the historical events of the period that the story takes place in. Our protagonist is an Arapaho warrior, past his prime, but still formidable as a fighter & hunter. He only wishes to live in peace with his wife, New Moon, but when miners rape the women of his village, he & the other warriors cry for vengeance. Pusuaded by his chief, Left-Hand (a real-life historical character), he tries the way of the law. Of course, the whites do not punish the offenders & through a series of broken promises & treaties, his people lose more & more of their land & their very lives become threatened. In the end, his family is slaughtered during The Sand Creek Massacre & he learns that even if he must lose, he will fight the whites to the death. (He also comes to realize that intertribal warfare against traditional Indian enemies is pointless when faced with the threat of white invaders.) The story is accurate & the backround of the story, Sand Creek, events of the Civil War, Lincoln's meeting with a delegation of Plains Tribes, The Sioux War in Minnesotta, as well as the historical characters Governor John Evans, Agent Wynkooop, Chivington, Setainte, Left Hand, Black Kettle, etc. were all real-life characters that actually lived the story that Kosser paints for the reader. (There is even a mention of Ely Parker, the Iroquois interpreter for Washington & later secretary for U.S. Grant.) This book is written in a both informative & exciting style. The action fan who may not necessarily be interested in history will nonetheless love the story as a rousing Western adventure tale. The scholar will be caught up in the events that actually would shape the founding of the American West. This should be required reading for high-school & history classes & it is this writer's hope that one day soon, we will all see Walks On The Wind either as a television mini-series or adapted to the big screen.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.