This history book is about the rise and fall of the Comanche empire. Because of its members' highly mobile nature, their ability to ride long distances and attack unpredictably, and their warlike society, the Comanche Nation was one of the most feared and powerful First Nations in all of North America.
Special emphasis is given to the Parker family, particularly Cynthia Ann Parker, who was kidnapped at age nine, who was raised Comanche, who married a Comanche war chief, and who violently resisted efforts to reintegrate her into American society, and whose son, Quanah Parker, became the most powerful Comanche chief of all time. It was Quanah Parker who successfully negotiated the end of the four-decade war between the Comanche Nation and the United States of America. Part of his success came from the way he was able to recognize and understand the American cultural and political need to recognize the Comanche as a cohesive unit, as opposed to a collection of separately organized bands.
The book deals unflinchingly with the brutal, terroristic tactics used on both sides of the war, where mutilation, rape, and kidnapping were standard. It also discusses Comanche military strategy and logistics, which was ironically made possible by the horses imported by the conquering Europeans. A highly mobile and nomadic society, the Comanche were skilled fighters who were equally dangerous with bow, lance, and axe.