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Warrior Woman: The Exceptional Life Story of Nonhelema, Shawnee Indian Woman Chief
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Warrior Woman: The Exceptional Life Story of Nonhelema, Shawnee Indian Woman Chief

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  316 ratings  ·  37 reviews
A bestselling master of historical fiction, James Alexander Thom has brought unforgettable Native American figures to life for millions of readers, powerfully dramatizing their fortitude, fearsomeness, and profound fates. Now he and his wife, Dark Rain, have created a magnificent portrait of an astonishing woman–one who led her people in war when she could not persuade the ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published November 23rd 2004 by Ballantine Books (first published 2003)
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3.98  · 
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 ·  316 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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May 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
A good book, particularly because he talks about two scouts sent out to warn the nearby settlements of an impending Indian attack. One of those scouts was Philip Hamman, my 4th great-grandfather, who was known as the Savior of Greenbrier. Nonhelema, called the Grenadier Squaw because of her size, helped to disguise "G-G-G-Grandpa Hamman" and his friend as Indians to get through to the settlements.
James Burns
Being an amateur historian on Indian and American relations in the southwest particularly West Texas, my interest and passion is with the Comanche's, and some what to a smaller degree the Apache's and I am also interested in the Sioux especially Chief Crazy horse and the battle of the Little Big Horn. I am a guide and Docent participate at Ft. Concho in San Angelo, TX. I am also familiar with Chief Tecumseh and some of the history of the Indian and American history in the east part of the United ...more
Sep 24, 2009 rated it liked it
This definitely wasn't the Thom writing I'd gotten used to. Not sure if it was Dark Rain's writing with him, or what exactly. It was still a great story... just not writing with the enthralling style as usual.
Linda T.
Jul 02, 2018 rated it liked it
For its wealth of historical information, I suppose it deserves a 5, however, I just found myself wishing I was closer to the end of the 450 pages than I was every time I picked it up to read. It's not the first book I've read by this author, but is the first to have been co-written with his wife. Perhaps as others have suggested, that is why it didn't move along like a novel and read more like a non-fiction book. One will leave with an enlightened view of the real injustice suffered by the nati ...more
Excellent book, adds to my growing knowledge of Native history, very well-researched and characters very believable only one critique being the changing focus of time going from close focus first person narrative to pulling up and suddenly your three years later, it happened more than once and was always a bit confusing when I read it but when your doing a biography covering a number of decades I guess that is unavoidable. Still one of the best native books I've read so far and I read a lot abou ...more
Feb 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book and gaining insight into the indian people. They are truly a fascinating people. This book is about a female Shawnee chief indian who tries to make peace with the white people. She is very honest in her dealings however, the white people conive and manipulate the indians in order to remove them from their land.

I have read other books by this author and really enjoy his writing and the research he has done. I recommend this author to anyone interested in learning more
Jun 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: shawnee
What a Woman!!!
She knew William Penn, Simon Girty, Alexander McKee, George Rogers Clark,
Colonel Morgan, and Joshua Isaiah Case, along w/Cornstalk, her brother, Tecumseh and many others in the early years of this Nation.
Peace-maker, mother, and woman is what Nonhelema, "Grenedair Squaw" would want to be remembered.
Also what a hard look at U.S. History and our treatment of the natives. Even those who were praying Indians.
Lee Anne
Jul 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. Read it while traveling and stopped to visit her fort @ Fort Pleasant, Ohio. It was fun to talk to the interpreters there who knew all about her. Excellent addition to Thom's "best" list.
Aug 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
This was the book that got me started with this author. Wonderfully written from the indian perspective.
Jan 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
fantastic book and loved the strong woman character and how females are the main teachers of life.
Cindy Deyo
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Greatly enjoy this author's works of historical fiction - my all time favorite was, however, "Follow the River"... loved this story of Nonhelema, Warrior, Peacekeeper, Chief - American history is indeed bittersweet...
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
I am fascinated by Native American culture and history so I read about it. Nonhelma is an amazing woman and I loved learning about her but this was a boring book.
Cathy Wacksman
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book got better and better with each page. I discovered that most of thee events actually happened and that this Shawnee queen was a person in real life. I highly recommend this book.
Steven Roach
Mar 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
Dark Rain Thom is not Shawnee and has no connection to any not fake indigenous community. The author is pretending to be Shawnee to sell you stuff. Please stay away.
Abby Shores
Mar 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Book #16 of 2018:
Mark Soone
Feb 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
I wanted to go 3.5 stars, but since that is not an option 4 works better for me than 3. While I found this a very enjoyable read, it was not IMHO as enjoyable as Thom's previous works. Perhaps as some have suggested it may be some of his wifes input, or just a fisrt attempt at a collaboration. I also felt that it overlapped with a few of his previous books (From sea to shining sea, panther in the sky, Long Knife).

I have always had a fondness for native American history, as well as the history of
Oct 30, 2010 rated it liked it
I have a special interest in women's history and the early history of the area in which I have always lived (the greater Ohio Valley in the Midwest). I especially like to read history either in a narrative form or as well-researched historical fiction. This book fit all those criteria, so it was a perfect book for me. That said, I found it a very difficult book to read. The story of the early history of this area (and, indeed, most of the U.S.) is one of violence, greed (both national and indivi ...more
Jun 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book took me a while to get through for several reasons. I took me a while to adjust to the writing style, at least for the portion of the book from Nonhelema's viewpoint. It was 3rd person that felt like 1st person. Being from Shawnee culture, her worldview and the pattern of her thinking were different than I was accostumed too, but in the long run I feel this was an excellent way of expressing her. Shawnee language was used periodically and every once in a while I noticed it was similar ...more
Dec 16, 2008 rated it did not like it
I was disappointed in this book.

Much of Warrior Woman felt like scenes excerpted from bad western movies. The melodrama was thick and terribly predictable. Also, the constant revisiting of certain points not only felt redundant, it almost had me feeling there had been a lack of editing. For instance, the reader is continually hammered with the role of women in decision making, Native American vs. European/white. Once explaining it and perhaps an occasional revisit to the concept would be one th
Jun 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
Not up the high standards that have been set by other books by James Alexander Thom

To start, let me establish my bonafides as a fan of Mr. Thom's work. Five of his novels proudly sit on my bookshelf . I have the featured review of his novel The Red Heart on When I teach world history I have my kids read a piece of historical fiction as part of a semester project. I have proudly placed copies of Follow the River and Panther in the Sky in my classroom library as examples of historica
Ó Ruairc
I must agree with a few other reviewers by stating Thom's "Warrior Woman" is not nearly as good as some of his other novels. Realizing the story is told through Nonhelema's perspective, I still can't help think that the author waxes too immoderate when it comes to the whole time-worn "noble savage" motif - a theme quite prevalent throughout the book.

What's more, the novel's characterization of David Zeisberger was wrong, in my opinion. The author portrays the missionary as an overly pious autho
Becky Norman
Mar 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Another powerful novel by Thom that explores the life of the perhaps gullible Nonhelema, who attempted again and again to come to a legitimate peace treaty with the Americans that were infringing on Shawnee territory in the late 1700's. Thom's novels are so rich with detail and philosophy that the Shawnee nation springs to life on the page. It seems such a dichotomy to love this way of writing so much...and yet be so deflated by the story. Especially in Warrior Woman, the way Nonhelema and the o ...more
Sep 09, 2012 rated it liked it
This book broke my heart so many times, I was exhausted when it was over. I have read a few other books written by James Alexander Thom and his attention to detail and (sometimes tedious) historical information is absolutely amazing. Nonhelema was an extraordinary leader, although her giant heart and love for all people was of course taken advantage of so many times.

It is always refreshing to learn about another strong woman in history, especially one who lived in the Ohio Valley where I was al
Ben S
Aug 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a good book showing a certain time in the American frontier when going West meant Kentucky and what is now West Virginia. Nonhelema was a astonishingly interesting woman, along with her brother Cornstalk, they play heavily in the story of American History.
The part where she dressed Philip Hammond and John Pryor as indian so they could make their run to the Greenbrier was wonderful to read, as Philip is my grandfather 5 generations removed.
Kristina Wojtaszek
The only bad thing about great historical fiction like this is being left wanting to believe it all, even down to a person's most private thoughts and emotions. The history and the voice of Nonehelema, "queen of the Shawnee," has left me both shaken and strengthened. And how ironic that after years of holding on to this book in Wyoming, I have only just now read it-- having moved to Shawnee Township, Ohio. I look around now with new eyes.
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was a detailed account of an Indian woman chief of the Shawnee. The book held my attention throughout a provided the Native American point of view from war, both with the British and the Americans as well as the French. I learned much about the Native American way and the details of the novel provided much insight into the complications of treaty making and betrayal of the Native Americans
Jun 01, 2012 rated it liked it
It was hard to read how much Americans behaved so badly in our history. Some things never change. We can learn a lot from Indigenous people and the French on how to share, listen and learn from each other, instead of just taking, with closed minds and hearts.
Jan 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommended by my 7th grade reading teacher. The author is a distant relative of her husband. I always love NA stories & the incredible wisdom they had. Powerful story about a wise woman in the time of colonial advancement against the natives. Sequel to Follow the River, which I enjoyed more.
Jan 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, native, american
Recommended by my 7th grade reading teacher. The author is a distant relative of her husband. I always love NA stories & the incredible wisdom they had. Powerful story about a wise woman in the time of colonial advancement against the natives. Sequel to Follow the River, which I enjoyed more.
Jul 29, 2008 rated it it was ok
Not nearly as good as his other books (which I love).
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James Alexander Thom (born 1933) is an American author, most famous for his works in the Western genre. Born in Gosport, Indiana, he graduated from Butler University and served in the United States Marine Corps. He is a former professor of journalism at Indiana University, and a contributor to the The Saturday Evening Post. His fifth wife, Dark Rain Thom was a member of the Shawnee United Remnant ...more