The Victorian West of Author Michelle Black
An Uncommon Enemy

A breathtaking novel in the tradition of Cold Mountain.
"There is no word in the Cheyenne language for forgiveness."

An Uncommon EnemyRead an ExcerptOn the day after Thanksgiving, 1868, George Armstrong Custer and the Seventh Cavalry attack a sleeping Cheyenne village on the banks of the Washita. Ironically, the village was presided over by Black Kettle, the foremost peace chief of the Cheyenne Nation. During the senseless slaughter of men, women, and children, the soldiers find Eden Murdoch, a white woman presumed dead years before. The army expects to use her for propaganda purposes to refute the accusations that the Cheyenne village posed no threat to white settlers, but Eden refuses to take part.

An Uncommon Enemy - Available on Kindle!Custer's young and inexperienced aide-de-camp, Captain Brad Randall, is assigned the task of looking after Eden. Beginning to doubt Custer's actions and struggling to act honorably, Brad is both fascinated and perplexed by Eden's eccentric behavior. He becomes obsessed with learning the truth behind Eden's bizarre journey, and when Eden begins to reveal it, his own future changes. Eden and Brad unexpectedly set in motion events that will echo all the way to the Little Bighorn.


Finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award
"Strong characters, smart narration and a fast-moving plot distinguish this latest historical novel by Black. On November 27, 1868, the Seventh Cavalry wiped out a Cheyenne village on the banks of the Washita River. Though it was referred to by the army as "the Battle of the Washita," [Edward Wynkoop, Indian Agent for the Cheyennes], believes it was a massacre and resigns in protest. Lieutenant Colonel Custer, then at the beginning of his campaign against the Cheyenne, needs a witness to back his version of the event. As Black's novel begins, he thinks he has found one in a white woman who has survived four years of Indian captivity. Custer is dismayed to find that she will not denounce her captors as "savages" and, in fact, seems to regard his men as not rescuers but aggressors. He appoints his young captain, Brad Randall, to see if he can learn the facts of Eden's captivity. Randall is a naive but decent man who comes to understand Eden's respect for the Cheyenne. Black's take on Custer's cruel command is nuanced and well researched, her story of his encounter with Eden based on a cryptic remark Custer made in his field notes the day after Washita. Eden's...plucky humor makes her an appealing protagonist."
- Publishers Weekly

"General Custer has been the subject of innumerable books, but MichelleBlack sees him from a different perspective. An Uncommon Enemy is acompelling story with strong sympathy for the Indian side."
- Elmer Kelton, Spur-Award winning author of Badger Boy, The Way of the Coyote and many other novels of the West.

"Michelle Black has penned a courageous, deeply moving, fiercely honest novel about a woman trapped between the frontier military and the Cheyenne. I was enthralled, not only by the swift-moving story, but by the integrityand depth of understanding in every page. This novel is richly rewarding, and I look forward to more splendid stories from her."
- Richard S. Wheeler, author of The Fields of Eden

"Tantalizing...the author's careful research in the politics and attitudes of the day and the Cheyenne culture provides the essential credibility. The depiction of Custer is excellent as is that of Hanging Road, a medicine man and mystic."
- The Denver Post

"A sense of place, well-rounded characters, and an exciting and poignant ending make An Uncommon Enemy an uncommon book well worth the reading."
- Roundup Magazine

"Black has written another compelling story that gives an honest and interesting view of a woman caught between the Cheyenne she views as her family and the frontier Army and those who would return her to the whiteworld."
- Abilene Reporter-News

"Michelle Black's An Uncommon Enemy is a clear-eyed and moving narrative of life among the Plains Indians, and of the reality of their struggle for existence against the elements and Manifest Destiny. But that was not enough for Black, who uses the business of Custer's missing ring finger to propel her story into the realm of great detective fiction. This is the closest thing to a collaboration between Jack London and Wilkie Collins."
- Loren D. Estleman, President of Western Writers of America, Inc., and author of The Master Executioner.

©Copyright 2003-2019 Michelle Black. All rights reserved.