Cherokee Princess Temple Gordon has love The Blade Stuart since childhood. She has waited for him to come home and take his rightful place as Chief of the Cherokee Nation. The Blade does come home to find the lovely child has turned into a woman. Their romance is quick and the passion between them flames, but soon the volatile political situation engulfs them in the struggle for the Nation's survival.

The U.S. government is intent on ousting the Cherokee from Georgia and distributing their fertile farms and prosperous gold mines to greedy white settler. The Cherokee send many representatives to Washington, The Blade among them.

There he realizes the futility of his people pleas and petitions. Temple, like the traditionalists refuses to see the inevitable and clings to the land. Torn between their love and their political loyalties, the newlyweds part.

The Blade and several miner chiefs sign a new treaty with President Jackson, giving away the Cherokee land and promising to move West. Temple is heart broken. She cannot believe that The Blade would betray her and his people.

When the Militia herd Temple, her family and several thousand Cherokee into detention camps, The Blade joins them. Together they struggle to regain each other's love and pull as one to survive the hazardous and treacherous Trail of Tears.

THE PROUD AND THE FREE is a historical saga not a classic Janet Daily romance. Lovers of history will be enthralled with the meticulous detailing, the political machinations and the way Ms. Dailey brings these legendary characters to life. However romance readers will note that the love story gets lost in the history. SWEET (Sept., 352 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin