Thomas McCabe is Yale graduate on his way to a brilliant career as a lawyer when, in 1837, he gives up everything to take a job with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Sent to live with a little-known tribe in the wilds of Missouri, McCabe soon finds that nothing could have prepared him for the rigors of the untamed West. After saving the life of a young brave, McCabe is grudgingly accepted by the Cheyenne-until he falls hopelessly in love with the beautiful, and betrothed, Night Bird Woman. Determined to marry the girl he has seen all his life in dreams, McCabe must prove himself to the tribe, first by challenging her suitor, then by surviving the excruciatingly painful and spiritually breathtaking Test of Fire. It is through this initiation that he is visited by a Spirit Vision, one that carries a message powerful enough not only to teach Thomas the true meaning of courage, but to remake the lives of the proud-and imperiled-people he will come to call family.