The Trail of Tears: the forced exodus of the Cherokee people from their homeland in Georgia to make way for the white settlers and gold miners. But Katherine Blue Song's family never lived to see the Trail of Tears. They were massacred just as she returned from Philadelphia, where she'd been one of the country's first women trained as doctors.
Justis Gallatin: a white man, a rough-and-ready man, Jesse Blue Song's friend and partner. Before he buried the victims of the massacre, he made a solemn promise to protect Katherine. But the Cherokee healer would not be protected or owned by any man. Her destiny was with her own people, to use her skills on the long, arduous journey westward.