"The rich, life-giving culture of the People has made them strong and wealthy--but now a white-skinned stranger could jeopardize their ancient ways.
Pale Star of the Elk-dog Band, cruelly abducted from the People as a child, has grown into a cunning and courageous woman. Married to a scout named Brule, she won the respect of the Fran-coy at faraway Fort Mishi-fhan for her beauty and storytelling skills. Yet she yearns for her home. So when Brule and Pale star are chosen to guide the Fran-coy soldier Andre Du Pres down the Big River into uncharted territory, she forms a daring plan to get back to her family. But Pale Star's judgement is soon clouded by a secret and forbidden love for Andre, and she may lead the exploring party straight into danger--and bring a white stranger and his powerful medicine to the Peoples land."