On September 11, 1857, the first act of religious terrorism in the United States took place in Utah when a group of fanatical Mormons massacred a prosperous wagon train of 120 settlers from Arkansas and Missouri on their way to California. Driven by a despotic Brigham Young who thundered chilling messages of Blood Atonement from the pulpit, the faithful committed polygamy, murder and castration in the name of God. Based on one of America's most horrific historical events, this is the story of the improbable romance between two nineteen-year-olds from starkly different worlds, the son of a Mormon Bishop, and the daughter of a Christian pastor. In a beautiful, pristine valley called Mountain Meadows, Jonathan, tormented by the execution of his beautiful mother by a lecherous Apostle, falls in love with beautiful, spirited Emily. Ordered to spy on the wagon train by his father, Jonathan tames a magnificent wild black stallion and wins the heart of the girl who has captured his. The tension builds to a crescendo with the growing conflict between Jonathan and his father Jacob.Fanatically wedded to the cause, Jacob believes in the righteousness of the atrocity commanded by the Prophet and the leaders of the Mormon Church.
Another victim of the tragedy is Jonathan's beloved brother, good-natured Micah, who self-destructs in the process of becoming a mass murderer. In the midst of the massacre, Jonathan must choose between his brother and his faith, or Emily. As Jonathan races to save Emily before September Dawn, the reader is left breathless with heart-pounding anticipation as the scope and magnitude of their love amidst the searing fire and ashes of the Mountain Meadow Massacre dramatically, and unforgettably, unfolds.