Discover the first in the epic trilogy by New York Times bestselling authors W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear ( Sun Born , Morning River ), which vividly recounts the devastating clash of cultures that occurs when Native Americans and Europeans make first contact. The pale, bearded newcomers who call themselves “Kristianos” fascinate Black Shell, an exiled Chickasaw trader, and not even the counsel of Pearl Hand, the beautiful, extraordinary woman who has consented to be his mate, can dissuade him from interacting with them. Only after a firsthand lesson in Kristiano brutality does Black Shell fully comprehend the dangers these invaders pose to his people’s way of life. While his first instinct is to run far from the then, Black Shell has been called to a greater destiny by the Spirit Being known as Horned Serpent. With Pearl Hand by his side, Black Shell must find a way to unite the disparate tribes and settlements of his native land and overcome the merciless armies of the man called Hernando de Soto. Using archeological data, ethnographic records, and historical journals, the authors bring to vivid life the beliefs, technologies, and daily experiences of lost American civilizations.