Adopted into Dull Knife’s village, Ethete lives the traditional life of a Plains Indian. But after Custer’s Last Stand everything changes. An incensed government sends army after army to round up the natives, forcing a march down to Indian Territory where a band of disillusioned warriors lead a harrowing escape to seek sanctuary with Red Cloud in the north. This unfortunately triggers the chain of events that ends in the infamous massacre at Fort Robinson. Ethete is then sent to the new Indian School at Carlisle and given the white name, Ettie Star.
Ettie endures a string of abuses that eventually prompt her to run away. At the age of fifteen she is plunged into the Wild West – where there is one woman for every fifty men – and quickly learns the currency of sex and how to defend herself. She embarks on a series of adventures with a gang of outlaws. Mrs. Elizabeth Custer, however, finds out about Ettie and employs the Pinkerton Detective Agency to hunt her down. When the unmarried teen gives birth to a son – the general’s only grandchild and heir – Elizabeth has the baby abducted to be raised by the surviving Custer brother. The devastated young mother must then pit her wits against one of the most formidable families in the country as she attempts to reclaim her child, thwarted along the way by the men she trusts for help.
Meantime, the government has placed most of the Nations on reservations. Ettie finds herself in the Smoky Mountains with the last of the free Cherokee, where she proves herself worthy of the title War Woman.
But history is moving inexorably toward The Battle of Wounded Knee . . .