Sophie follows her husband, Dr. Alfred Fritze from the rich city life in Prussia to the poverty of the American frontier. Immediately, the lush green countryside and crisp clean air lulls her into a false sense of security. Until her very survival is challenged by the first long frigid Minnesota winter so cold it swallows up hope and leaves privation in its stead.
Although the Dakota people are friendly as a whole, there are those who hate the whites. Bigotry spreads on both sides of the river. Men, who would gain from their demise, harass and belittle the Indian way of life. Then in August of 1862, Chief Little Crow, one of the calmer voices of the Dakota Nation, declares war on the "cut-hairs and those who take the white ways." Caught in the middle of a civil war, Sophie loses her son and is taken captive by Killing Ghost who plans to make her his princess.