Mystic Warriors

Written by Rosanne Bittner
Review by Lisa Ann Verge

This, Bittner’s final installment in the “Mystic” trilogy (Mystic Dreamers, Mystic Visions) continues the story of Buffalo Dreamer and her husband, Rising Eagle, as the Sioux fight to save their land and way of life in the American West.

In 1855, the Sioux struggle against the expansion of settlers, gold miners, and soldiers into their territory. Clashes between cultures are frequent and bloody; treaties are often made and often broken. Many but not all of the visions Buffalo Dreamer and Rising Eagle have experienced have come to pass. For twenty years they work to unite the tribes against their enemies, ultimately in vain, despite the victory against Custer and his men at Little Bighorn. Bittner imbues the ongoing struggle with dignity, empathy, and passion. With keen insight, she shows how the Sioux were defeated from within — by the conflicts among different tribes, the differences of opinion among chiefs, and even the hatred between Sioux father and half-breed son.

Bittner’s deep roots in historical romance are evident here. The story contains more than a touch of magic, the aging protagonists are still ardent lovers, and all the good people are strong and handsome. Still, she does not shy away from the ugly, gritty, or tragic, nor does she hesitate to illuminate Indian as well as white brutality. Mystic Warriors is the powerful culmination of an expansive, emotionally gripping story.