History Professor, Niles Lambert, was raised in the modern era by Sakima, his Shawnee Grandfather, who taught him to hunt and fight like a Native American. As a child his upbringing felt like nothing more than a game, but unbeknownst to Niles his Grandfather had a secret plan for him all along.
Using an ancient blood ritual, Sakima sends Niles back in time to 1859, where he must face the harsh reality of his mixed race heritage. Narrowly escaping slavery, Niles is captured by the Cheyenne and goes through a torturous sequence of events that eventually earns him the respect of the tribe.
He finds himself in the disconcerting position of being a tribal sub-chief who must lead his people to safety through the plains while also knowing every detail of the Civil War.
Niles embarks on a five year mission which takes him from Colorado to Arizona and eventually north to the Dakotas. Along the way his stunning predictions earn him the title of “Prophet” and he sits in council with Cochise, Red Cloud, Geronimo, Sitting Bull and Quanah Parker, among others. He uses his vast knowledge of their personal lives to enlist their support in his burgeoning coalition.
Uniting the tribes proves to be only the first step. With the Civil War finally over, Niles and his lieutenants must lead thousands of warriors into battle against the technically superior, but often beleaguered, United States military. Knowing the tactics and inner motivations of leaders like Grant, Sherman, and Custer, Niles is able to stay one step ahead of the Federals while engaging them in a series of bloody conflicts designed to sway public sentiment and gain independence for a sovereign Indian state.
"Can one man go back in time 150 years and rewrite the history of the entire U.S. Indian nation? In Black Buffalo, a refreshingly original new novel, Michael Stein blends historical fiction, well developed characters, factual accounts, and an alternate history theme to create a world where this is possible. After reading it, my two thoughts were – this book is a real pager turner, and when does the movie come out?" -
Doug Abramson, Bass player of The Chain Gang