The story takes place in 1796 on the windswept Northern Plains. It is a coming-of-age story that takes place over the year in the life of a teen-aged member of the Cheyenne tribe. Bull Calf‘s needs are those of any adolescent male: he wants to have friends, to be accepted as a grown man, to seek adventure and aches to find true love with a girl, Pretty Day Walking. As Bull Calf leaves his childhood behind to begin his new life as a warrior, his people are also emerging from the Stone Age in their own coming-of-age story, hurtling along on an unavoidable course with European technology. The introduction of firearms (“iron bowstrings”) leads to an arms race and war for survival with their enemies, the Absorkas. Having completed his vision quest, and now known by his man-name, Otters Circling, he must prove himself as a warrior, survive the warrior’s path and return to the girl who has stolen his heart. This deeply researched novel is excellent for readers of all ages from 9 to 99.