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Ride the Wind Mass Market Paperback – November 12, 1985

389 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

In 1836, when she was nine years old, Cynthia Ann Parker was kidnapped by Comanche Indians. This is the story of how she grew up with them, mastered their ways, married one of their leaders, and became, in every way, a Comanche woman. It is also the story of a proud and innocent people whose lives pulsed with the very heartbeat of the land. It is the story of a way of life that is gone forever....

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (November 12, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345325222
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345325228
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (389 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Along with my library degree I learned one of life's great truths: you don't have to know all the answers, you just have to know where to find them. As a public librarian in Maryland I gave book-related programs in the local schools. While gathering material for the talks, I ran across the story of Cynthia Ann Parker's life with the Comanches. I told the kids that this was a more fascinating story than anyone could make up.

Shortly after that I went to a science fiction convention and met Brian Daley, author of the Han Solo books. I mentioned Cynthia Ann's story to Brian and his editor who referred me to Pamela Strickler of Ballantine Books. She advised me to, "Write the best story you can, from the heart, to please yourself." In 1982, Ballantine published Ride the Wind, which made the New York Times best sellers list. It also won the Western Writers of America's Spur Award for Best Historical Novel of the year. Now in its 27th printing, WIND was included in the top 100 westerns of the 20th century, and has garnered more than 100 5-star reviews in Amazon.

I've written eight other historical novels that feature people and times seldom mentioned in history texts. I got a kick out of Kirkus Reviews' take on my characters, "...Robson's phosphorescently magnificent gallery of forgotten women whom she's dug up God knows where."

In order of their appearance, the titles are: RIDE THE WIND, WALK IN MY SOUL, LIGHT A DISTANT FIRE, TOKAIDO ROAD, MARY'S LAND, FEARLESS, GHOST WARRIOR, SHADOW PATRIOTS, and LAST TRAIN FROM CUERNAVACA. In June of 2011 Western Writers of America awarded LAST TRAIN FROM CUERNAVACA their Spur award for best long novel of 2010.

A historical novelist must do more than list which generals fought where and when. She tries to re-create the society in which people lived, and she has to make it so vivid that readers can feel as though they're living there too.

I no longer collect a paycheck as a librarian, but my library training helps me find out what people wore, what jokes they told, how they insulted each other, what they ate, how they amused themselves, what diseases laid them low and how they tried to cure them.

As a writer of historical fiction, it's my job to create a plausible reality in a time long gone. A descendant of one of my characters once asked me where I got the stories I told in my book about her family. I told her I had either read them or made them up. She said I couldn't have because those were stories only the family knew. I blamed it on coincidence, but sometimes I do believe that novelists can "predict" the past.

I worry about being mis-marketed as a romance writer. I wonder if those who want happily-ever-after stories will be put off by the grit and gore in mine. I fear that readers who're looking for historical fiction won't pick the books up. Love is a vital part of every period of history and I always include it in my stories. However, it is not the focus.

When I became a librarian in 1975 I could not have imagined I would write even one npovel, much less nine. The internet did not exist then, so I could not have known that one day people from all over the world would get in touch with me. My job is to re-create how other people lived, and yet I could not have imagined the way my own life would unfold. I find it hard to believe that the three following quotes are about my words.

Historian and novelist thomas Fleming wrote about Last Train from Cuernavaca: "A gripping story that takes us deep into the tumultuous years of Mexican history. We need more books like this."

"Shadow Patriots, a Novel of the Revolution" -- From Kirkus Reviews "Few novelists working now have a better grasp of early American history than Robson ...Wholly believable, confidently realized, attention-holding historical fiction."

In 2011 True West Magazine named me Best Living Fiction Writer- "With her greatest achievement to date, 2010's Last Train from Cuernavaca... Lucia St. Clair Robson once again proves a master in prose, descriuption, character development and authenticity via her diligent research. Look for more from this powerful writer."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 99 people found the following review helpful By Mick McAllister on June 8, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Don't be fooled by the cover. This is not *Throbbing Raven's Passion*. Robson's novel about Cynthia Ann Parker is gussied up as a piece of historical romance, but it is a solidly researched, well-written biography of one of the most fascinating women of Texas, the mother of Comanche chief Quanah Parker. To avoid lunkhead complaints about "spoilers," I can't tell you what happens to her, but in the literature of women kidnapped by Indians, her story is unique.
Robson does a great job of maintaining a delicate balance between the "savagery" of the Comanches (a horrifying massacre of the Parker family opens the novel) and the rich, positive side of their lives. She has set out to understand and communicate how a young white woman could come to regard her "rescue" as a second kidnapping, and she pulls it off. *The Searchers,* based on the same story, may be a greater work of art, but *Ride the Wind* has the taste and smell of truth about it.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Mindy VINE VOICE on November 7, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I was in high school, my best friend handed me a tattered, worn out copy of this book. The cover was even missing. She just looked me in the eyes and said, "Read it." I was rather turned off by how ratty the book was but I had nothing else to read so I took her advice. I wound up spending the next three days locked in my room reading non-stop. Since high school, I have re-read the book many times and each time, it's as if I'm revisiting old friends.

To put it simply, this was one of the first books that made me love reading. What stands out about Robson's writing is that everything was described so vividly. Though it can be considered a historical romance, there is nothing formulaic, a characteristic of so many other romance novels.

Lucia St.Clair Robson is a librarian. One day, she came across some information about a person named Cynthia Ann Parker and how she grew up with the Comanche Indians. The more she read about Cynthia, the more she was hooked. Finally, she decided she had to write out Cynthia's story. This book is the result. Now of course this book is a work of fiction because Robson took many liberties by filling in things that were missing from the actual historical record. Still, the fiction struck me as realistically imagined. It gave me moments of pure joy in addition to moments in which I bawled my eyes out.
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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful By rebelmomof2 VINE VOICE on April 2, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Then I suggest you pick this book right away and start reading ~~ it will be one book that you will never forget. I know. I re-read it every year and have been doing so for the last 10 years. I first picked it up during a summer working in Yellowstone ~~ that was when I started becoming interested in Native American Indian History ~~ and needing something lighter and easier to read, I started with "Ride the Wind."
This is such a great beginning introduction to reading about the Comanches ~~ even though the book is a novel ~~ it is based on what few known historical facts on Cynthia Parker and the man who she calls husband ~~ Wanderer, one of the last great Comanche chiefs. Robson writes with passion the story of a white girl kidnapped by the Indians in her youth ~~ and how she transformed her ways to those of the tribe. It is a heart-warming story, one that will haunt you for the rest of your life. It also shows a softer side to the Indians that you normally won't see ~~ they're not the savages as people make them to be. I'm not saying that they're not fierce warriors ~~ they are and do practice warfare with a savergy that is different from what historians call "civilised society." But Robson shows the fierce loyalty the Comanche have for their tribe and one another ~~ and their way of life.
Pick this book up. I guarantee that you won't walk away from it without being haunted by the stories that Cynthia and her friends share with you. It is an eye-opener into the way of life then. And it is a heart-breaking story as well. Try it and see. I don't think you'll regret it.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By K. Fell on June 23, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is without a doubt the best book I have ever read. The story of Cynthia Ann Parker is fascinating and Lucia is brilliant in her storytelling. The detail and research in her writing cannot be matched. It puts you right there in the Comanche camp. I have read it probably 20 times (the first time being about 20 yrs ago) and each time I finish I cant wait to read it again. From the very first page I was completly hooked. And I did exactly what the back of the book says. It made me laugh and especially made me cry and mourn the loss of the great Comanche Nation. The chapter where Naduah is in the tent with Molly tears my heart out everytime I read it. And when Wanderer goes to the river the night before facing Placido and remembers Naduah from the first day when he captured her is so emotional I can hardly read through my tears. Several times after I finished the book I just had to contact Lucia and tell her how moved I am each time I read it. I have always had a interest in Indian culture and anyone who has the slightest interest in Native Americans or the west should read this book. You will not be dissapointed. I have bought so many copies of this book for friends hoping that they will have the same reaction I have had. I have 2 copies that have never been open tucked away in a safe place just in case. I cannot wait til my children are old enough to read this book. I've tried to find any and all the information I can about Naduah. This is THE BEST book I have ever read. Nothing else I have ever read even comes close. I think about it for weeks after each time I finish it. If you never read another book......READ THIS BOOK......
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