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Publisher's Summary

This program includes supplemental material read by the author.

The thrilling, long-awaited return of the number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Revenant.

In 1866, with the country barely recovered from the Civil War, new war breaks out on the western frontier - a clash of cultures between a young, ambitious nation and the Native tribes who have lived on the land for centuries. Colonel Henry Carrington arrives in Wyoming’s Powder River Valley to lead the US Army in defending the opening of a new road for gold miners and settlers. Carrington intends to build a fort in the middle of critical hunting grounds, the home of the Lakota. Red Cloud, one of the Lakota’s most respected chiefs, and Crazy Horse, a young but visionary warrior, understand full well the implications of this invasion. For the Lakota, the stakes are their home, their culture, their lives.

As fall bleeds into winter, Crazy Horse leads a small war party that confronts Colonel Carrington’s soldiers with near constant attacks. Red Cloud, meanwhile, seeks to build the tribal alliances that he knows will be necessary to defeat the soldiers. Colonel Carrington seeks to hold together a US Army beset with internal discord. Carrington’s officers are skeptical of their commander’s strategy, none more so than Lieutenant George Washington Grummond, who longs to fight a foe he dismisses as inferior in all ways. The rank-and-file soldiers, meanwhile, are still divided by the residue of civil war, and tempted to desertion by the nearby goldfields.

Throughout this taut saga - based on real people and events - Michael Punke brings the same immersive, vivid storytelling and historical insight that made his breakthrough debut so memorable. As Ridgeline builds to its epic conclusion, it grapples with essential questions of conquest and justice that still echo today.  

A Macmillan Audio production from Henry Holt and Company

©2021 Michael Punke (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

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What listeners say about Ridgeline

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Historical fiction at its best

Michael Punke's new book is historical fiction at its best. If you have any interest in the history of the West or US history in general, this is the book for you.

The story is interesting, captivating, riveting. It includes real historical figures like Jim Bridger, Crazy Horse, Henry Carrington, William Fetterman and James Beckwourth.

The author does a great job letting everything come to live and I was sad the story ended.

Narration is almost perfect, very high quality. Will read again!

12 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointed.

The story could have been so much more.

Summary:
US Army - bad, dumb, cowardly, drunken, savages.
Natives - proud, caring, brilliant, philosophical, brave.

Narration was very well done. But it was hard to enjoy such a clearly slanted story. I can imagine this is what it would be like if you were a Native American watching a old Western movie. A great example of two wrongs don’t make it right.

8 people found this helpful

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Brilliant!

The character development is extraordinary! I was hanging on every word. Well-researched. Punke is an amazing storyteller.

6 people found this helpful

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Amazing novel

Man this book was really well written and researched, not a ton of “liberties” taken following the actual events, and Tatanka Means was absolutely amazing on his delivery and captured all of the feeling/emotions as he was reading this story. 10 out of 10.

6 people found this helpful

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4 star because...

This author is an incredible writer, has a vivid imagination , a wonderful user of descriptive words with the ability to bring you there.. Truly a most listen to. it's the VIRTUE signaling that gave me a hard time. . The Europeans were a jumble of weakness and debauchery, While the native tribes were complete In wisdom, honor and integrity. Never a despairing word spoken about another.

4 people found this helpful

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Great story! Great narration!

I had a hard time with this book because I wanted to listen to the entire 16hrs in one day, but couldn't. The story is strong with historical significances.

4 people found this helpful

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couldn't stop listening

from when I started listening to the very end this book had my attention all the way through

3 people found this helpful

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amazing

Great story, makes me want to go to the Ridgeline and see where it all happened

2 people found this helpful

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Historical Fiction Excellence as an Audiobook

A deep view into the Sioux and allied tribes’ insult and armed reactions to early encroachments by the Whites on their sacred hunting grounds by the U.S. Army only a year after the Civil War. This culminates in a real-life massacre of a substantial Army force, that I will confidently wager is unknown by most Americans, even historians.
Made extremely interesting by the Roles of Chief Red Cloud and the rise of Crazy Horse from a young warrior to a war leader. Insightful flavor of Army Life in side a brand new post, and the contrast of Civil War tactics and poor support given to such forces, arrayed against an Indian enemy with a completely different culture of conflict and war. Jim Bridget and other historical figures had a part in this intriguing story. I couldn’t stop listening to the last 4 hours of this excellent narrative.Now I want to visit the national monuments at this fort and the site of the massacre, and the nearby Little Bighorn site, both of which the which the author generously describes.

2 people found this helpful

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Good Book

I got this audible book after listening to Steven Rinella’s podcast. I was not disappointed. This is a great listen. I enjoyed the historical aspect of this story as well as the character development. I’m happy to say that this book doesn’t bog down at all; keeping me entertained throughout. I enjoyed the differing perspectives from the varied characters and felt like I could see the events unfold before my eyes, even while driving into work.

I think this book is a great listen for anyone interested in history or military history; even though it is fiction. It made me google earth Fort Phil Kearny and cruise around. And also started me thinking of how I could convince my wife to visit.

Great work!
3 out of 5 stars, wouldn’t change a thing!

2 people found this helpful