Through the Eyes of a Captive
Angela Christina Archer
“It is observed that in any great endeavor, it is not enough for a person to depend solely on himself.” ~ Lakota Proverb
They called it a terrible glory and the last great battle for the American West. While the battle of the Little Bighorn was the last stand by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer against the Lakota tribes, to Lily Sinclair it was the last stand between her old life and her new beginning.
After her in-laws squander away the family fortune, Lily and her husband, Alfred, head out west to the mountains of Montana, the only land available to poor people and far away from the debts haunting them. When a band of Cherokee warriors attacks their wagon train along the way, they kill her husband and take her captive, selling her to a Lakota tribe for the price of several horses.
Widowed Lakota warrior Tahatan has vowed never to take another bride after his wife’s death. However, he soon finds himself forced in a marriage with the outspoken, yellow-haired Yankee who challenges every thought in his head.
With Custer’s sights set on the hidden gold in the depths of the Black Hills, the Colonel begins his warpath on the tribe villages. Can Lily overcome the demons of her past and defend Tahatan and his people? Or will she betray them all for the actions against her dead husband?
Uncaged Review: Lily Sinclair travels with her husband, Alfred, from their home in Washington D.C. to the western frontier. Lily’s in-laws had squandered the family fortune, so Lily and George head to far-away Montana to start over. Along the way, Cherokee warriors attack the wagon train, kill Alfred and most of the travelers, and take Lily hostage, along with a couple of other women. She is traded to a Lakota tribe for a few horses. Tahatan is a Lakota warrior who tragically lost his wife. He is not happy when the tribe’s chief decrees he is to marry Lily. Over time, trust and eventually love, grows between Lily and Tahatan. Lily integrates into the Lakota tribe and learns their ways and culture. She might have successfully rebuilt her life had it not been for the arrival of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer and the discovery of gold in Indian territory.
The first third of this story is Lily trying to find her place in a new world, making new relationships within the tribe and going from being a captive to a valued member of the Lakota people. The middle section is the tribe balancing on the cusp of war. The sweeping conclusion comes after a series of surprises and twists.
This book is researched history meeting literary twists. It earns a solid five stars for creativity and characterization. There were a few minor typos sprinkled throughout. The drawback was the dialogue between Lily and her Lakota family. While trappers had taught some tribe members English, the slang and phrases that the Native Americans understood and used was not believable. Ms. Archer has written wonderful Native American stories before, and the dialogue has always been believable until now. Beyond those issues, “Through the Eyes of a Captive” is an entertaining story about an emotionally strong woman that will keep readers flipping pages to see what happens to her next. Reviewed by Ryan Jo