Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Ride the Wind” as Want to Read:
Ride the Wind
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Ride the Wind

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  5,613 ratings  ·  548 reviews
In 1836, when she was nine years old, Cynthia Ann Parker was kidnapped by Comanche Indians from her family's settlement.

She grew up with them, mastered their ways, and married one of their leaders. Except for her brilliant blue eyes and golden mane, Cynthia Ann Parker was in every way a Comanche woman. They called her Naduah—Keeps Warm With Us. She rode a horse named Wind
Paperback, 562 pages
Published July 12th 1982 by Ballantine Books (first published 1982)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Ride the Wind, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Patricia Sounds like a book I loved called The Red Heart by James Alexander Thom about a five year old quaker girl who was kidnapped by Natives to replace a ch…moreSounds like a book I loved called The Red Heart by James Alexander Thom about a five year old quaker girl who was kidnapped by Natives to replace a child of theirs killed by white men. Its based on a true story and she grows up to become a warrior. I don't remember all of it, so I'm not sure about bear grease and it was published in 1997, which is more like 21 years ago. I highly recommend it though!(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,613 ratings  ·  548 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Ride the Wind
Allison (The Allure of Books)
This book was recommended by a good friend of mine, and she hasn't steered me wrong yet. This book will break your heart. First it will make you sick, then make you mad, then you will fall in love...then you will repeatedly feel like you've been run over by tanks. For the past three days, I have been hard put to set this down, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it.

It was kinda surreal reading it, because the story of Quanah Parker is pretty well known to me, I learned about him in v
May 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-favorites

Many of the paperback covers make this book look like a cheesy western romance novel. Do not be fooled! Ride the Wind is based on the true story of Cynthia Ann Parker, who was kidnapped in 1836 during a brutal raid by the Comanche Indians, then adopted and raised by the tribe. I was stunned by my change in perspective – at the beginning, I was horrified by the savagery of the Indians; by the end, I was furious with the savagery and ignorance of t
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Utterly heartbreaking, brutal and mesmerising. This truly captures the spirit of the West and the origins of Texas. It's an epic in every sense of the word, written masterfully. ...more
Bren fall in love with the sea.
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of books focusing on Native American History.

"Nacona, Wanderer, my brother, I wish the these white people would come west so we could raid them all the time. They have such wonderful things, and they're soft like newborn pups. I may spend ore time here in the east".

Ride the Wind by Lucia St. Clair Robson

As someone with an interest in Native American History I liked reading this story about Cynthia Anne Parker. It made me angry though and not at Native Americans, at OUR government. I felt almost embarrassed on her behalf.

This was a really
Rebecca Huston
My favourite of the various books that Ms. Robson has written. Don't be fooled by the cover -- this is not a romance novel by any means. It's smart, intelligent and based around a real story -- that of Cynthia Ann Parker. ...more
Jan 30, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hf, western
Overall I had to read this in spurts because the carnage seemed to become constant in this novel of the Comanche nation in their waning years. The raids of the tribes and settlers were brutal, some involved torture and were complete leaving nothing alive or standing. Life was harsh for both groups as they tried to survive in the elements. The Comanche working with the land and the cycle of nature, the settlers trying to harness or tame it. The focus of the novel is based on the true life story o ...more
I'm a big book loaner. Every time I read something I loved, my first impulse is to give it to someone else immediately, "here, read this!". And a lot of times, I never get that book back. If I really loved it, I go and buy it again, so I still have a copy. Consequently, I have owned 7 copies of this book (yeah, I am dumb, because I kept loaning it out). The last time I bought it, I was told it was out of print, so I held on to that copy.

I've always been interested in Native American history, and
Tamara Silver
Oct 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The cheesy cover had me very skeptical about this book, but I think this is a book that is going to stay with me for years and years. Yes, there is better writing, but man oh man, what a story! I learned about Native Americans, the Texas Rangers, and Westward Expansion, in a way that I never learned in school. Learned about daily life, motivations, and how the Indians and settlers impacted each other. The book doesn't whitewash Indian attrocities, you do not get a trite, "at-one-with-nature" vie ...more
Wayne Barrett


There is a great deal of details involving the lives and customs of the plains Indians in this version of the Cynthia Anne Parker story. This was a very romanticized depiction, but there are some extremely brutal scenes throughout the story. Aside from the gushy romance, this novel was told with great adventure and detail. Good for details on the lives of the Native Americans, good for an adventurous story, not so good for the facts about the life of Cynthia Anne Parker.
Sep 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my personal all-time favorites. Do not be put off by the rotten cover. This isn't a trashy sex romance. It is actually a true story - the major incidents did happen. You'll become deeply attached to the characters and be heartbroken, in more ways than one, when it ends.
I have spoken.
Aug 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is beautiful, uplifting, shocking, hopeful, desolate, almost any emotion possible to feel will be aroused. St. Clair Robson takes the kidnapping of a young plainsgirl, and tells the story that will live in your heart years after reading it. The white child who grows to marry a chief. Who bears the very last free Comanche chief in America. Is she still white?

She pulls no punches. She shows us the brutalities with which the Indians were treated, but on the other side of the coin, in the
Jul 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are looking for a book about what it would be like to live with Indians, this is the book. It is based on the true story of a 9 year old white girl that was captured by Indians. The story line is definitely fictional though, as there is no written account from Cynthia Anne, the white girl, only that information from her white relatives and her oldest son, Quanah, the last free Indian Chief. She was raised by a Comanche Indian family and married an Indian chief and had three children with ...more
Kaylea Cross
Jul 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book years and years ago, and it's still one of my favorites. I could not put this down. The descriptions are so vivid I could smell the prairie air, and the characters are done so well they've stayed with me all these years. I loved the hero, Nocona, so much I even named my next dog after him :)

A warning though, this book is absolutely wrenching and not for the faint of heart. But I promise if you read it, you'll never forget it. Incredible piece of writing.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nook-archive
Still one of my all time favorite books! Based on historical events, this is a story of Cynthia Ann Parker’s abduction and assimilation into the lives of the Comanches that kidnapped her. It outlines the gradual fall of the people. Beautiful, yet haunting. The incredible sadness will stay with you for months, if not years.
Aug 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book continues to remain one of my favorite books of all time. This is not a romance, it's one of one several historical fiction books written by this author that feature real people and real stories. Her research and portrayal of the Comanche is spot on. It's brutal and loving all at the same time. Robson doesn't sugar coat their lifestyle or the things they did, at the same time she shows their heart. It's a historical fiction because Cynthia Anne never spoke of her life. She was captured ...more
Dec 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite the deceiving cover that makes it look like a cheap romance, Ride the Wind shares the story of a young girl who is adopted into a Native American tribe. As she grows, the American government's presence becomes even more prominent and threatens the traditional culture and way of life for her adopted family.

I felt that Lucia St.Clair Robson really wanted readers to get a feeling for 19th century life, the dangers faced by early settlers, the life of the Native Americans etc. The good and
Stephanie Deaton
One of my favorite books of all time! The story of Cynthia Ann Parker, so if you are into Texas history you will love it! The opening scene is extremely gruesome, so just be forewarned. After that, it isn't quite so graphic. Lucia St. Clair Robson does a brilliant job relaying this story in a captivating, compelling and compassionate way. . . ...more
Sep 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Native American History
This was one of my books from my high school days in the 1990's. I read it several times. I was very into historical fiction/non-fiction. It was amazing how much life St. Clair Robson breathed into a real story. A must read for any Native American History fan!! ...more
One of my all-time favourite books. I still get emotional even though I have read it several times. A classic.
I read The Red Heart by James Alexander Thom, and I thought that was the best written account of a white adopted by native’s that I had ever read now I’m not so sure, this was a very moving and well written story, and while it was rather long it was well worth my time.


An excellent account of Nautdah (Cynthia Ann Parker ) who lived with “The People” for 24 years a story full of sadness and drama and love and some inaccuracies too, although not as many as can be found in any Google search of this
Pooja Peravali
Jun 18, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Captured in a raid, nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker is adopted by a Comanche couple and becomes integrated into the tribe, given the name Naduah, and eventually grows up to marry a Comanche chief.

I love long lush historical fiction, especially older ones that lean more heavily into sprawling plots than most modern books. Ride the Wind delivered on all these fronts, and told a fascinating true story to boot.

I enjoyed the style of writing, which was somewhat purple at times but created a vivid se
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book on the life of Cynthia Ann Parker and the last days of the free Comanche. This is a true story with a lot of information added on the daily lives of the Comanche.

This subject is close to my heart since Cynthia Ann (Naduah is her Comanche name) is one of my ancestors. However, that's not what makes this such a great book. St. Clair Robson is a wonderful storyteller. She is able to weave the true events of Cynthia Ann's life, and the daily details of the lives of the Comanche into a
May 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been a while since I have given 5 stars, but this book is incredible and just might be a new favorite. My mom and sister have been telling me for a while to read it, but to be honest, the cover sort of put me off. When I finally cracked it open and started reading I COULD NOT put it was like finding a treasure!

This book is worth reading for the history alone. It's the true story of young girl who was captured by the Comanche Indians at 9 years old. I have always loved reading abo
What a great read this book turned out to be! It's the historical fiction retelling of the story of Cynthia Ann Parker, kidnapped at the age of nine by a Comanche war band who massacred her family’s settlement in Texas. She was adopted by the Comanche and lived with them for 24 years, eventually marrying a Comanche chieftain and having three children with him, including the last free Comanche chief Quanah Parker. When she was 34, she was finally "rescued" by the Texas Rangers and returned to her ...more
Kris Irvin
Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book leaves me in a quandary. It was so well written, and yet parts were SO BORING. And parts were amazing, but some parts were not.

I thought the character development of everyone was so well done it was ridiculous. As I read the book I became one of the People and I fell in love with the characters. When they died, parts of me died with them.

I thought the beginning was a little much. It was ridiculously graphic and could have been... not that graphic. Also, Rachel Plummer didn't need to
The cover of the edition I read is misleading. It gives the impression this book is a bodice-ripper romance about Native Americans. Not so. I read it in spite of the cover (what's that saying about don't judge a book….) because it had such good ratings on Amazon and Goodreads.

The lovers are a Comanche chief and a white woman whom he stole when she was 9-years old (I think she was 15/16-years old when he married her). The author didn't white-wash the evils of either the white settlers or the Coma
Amy (mrsAmy#s)
I'm a little torn on this book between 3 and 4 stars. Part of me LOVED it. I'm a fan of historical fiction and this story about the last few decades of the "free" Comanches is something I was unfamiliar with. The plot was quite fascinating and I liked the Wanderer/Nadua love story.

On the other hand, the first half of the book was markedly better than the second half. The second half was full of cliches,e.g., "We're in love and our two awesome horses had TWINS that look just like their parents".
Jul 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Mom was really into Native American books, so I read this book when I was a teenager. I wasn't all that into reading novels at the time, but I loved this book. Afterward, I tried to read Follow The River (it's another historical fiction novel) and could not get interested in it because I just kept comparing it to Ride the Wind. I was very intrigued by the Native American lifestyle and it had a wonderful love story. ...more
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, I gave this 4 stars because it really is a great story and I enjoyed it for the most part. But, it was SO long! I felt like it was the book that never ended. It just kept going and going. I would have enjoyed it more if some of the needless details were cut out. But it really is an incredible story that was told really well.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Follow the River
  • Sacajawea
  • The Red Heart
  • Dancing on Coals
  • Panther in the Sky: A Novel Based on the Life of Tecumseh
  • The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend
  • Blood Moon: A Captive's Tale
  • She Who Remembers (Time Circle, #1)
  • I Walked the Line: My Life with Johnny
  • Zodiac Explained: Understanding the Innate Motives Behind Our Actions
  • The Awakening Heart: My Continuing Journey to Love
  • Exit to Eden
  • The Ripple Effect
  • The Speed of Light
  • Truth is a Whisper (Wolf Creek Ranch Book 1)
  • From Sea to Shining Sea
  • The Quick and the Dead
  • Leven Thumps and the Eyes of the Want (Leven Thumps, #3)
See similar books…
Lucia St. Clair Robson has been a Peace Corps Volunteer, a teacher and a librarian. Her first historical novel, RIDE THE WIND, appeared on the New York Times best seller list, and in 1983 received the Golden Spur Award from the Western Writers of America. Since then she has written seven more novels set in a variety of times and places. Kirkus Reviews wrote, "Few novelists working today have a bet ...more

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
1 likes · 0 comments
“A man who works cannot dream. And it is only through dreams that we achieve wisdom.” 0 likes
More quotes…