Leisure, May 2003, 5.99, 384 pp.
The New Mexico Mescalero Indians raised Rachel as one of their own after her father abandoned her. However, unable to ignore her white heritage and fearing her love for Swift Buck, Silent Wind left the tribe to live in the white world. She not only deserted the people who nurtured her, but also destroyed the love of Swift Buck.
For five years an abashed Rachel watches the harassment and murder of her former tribe even on their reservation. She returns to her tribe with a deep desire to help in the fight. Angry at her for leaving and at the whites for killing his fellow Apaches including his wife, White Buck abducts Rachel. He plans to use her as a pawn enabling him to flee the infernal jail the soldiers call a reservation, but did not count on their former love rekindling even brighter than before.
Though the romance is a subplot, WALK INTO THE FLAME reads more like a deep historical fiction than a love story. The tale provides a dark often-gritty look at the nineteenth century mistreatment of Indians by Federal agents and soldiers, and other Americans. Ronda Thompson provides plenty of action with strong charcaters, but readers seeking an Indian romance need to look elsewhere.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner