The mysterious loner hires on to Jane's ranch. Through battles with gun-slinging cattle-rustlers, cut-throats and the calculating Mormans, Lassiter unveils his tale of an endless search for a woman abducted long ago. Grey unfolds his story of seduction, secrecy, captivity, and escape on the dust swept purple plains.
Judged by critics to be Zane Grey's best novel, Riders of the Purple Sage changed the western genre when it was first published in 1912. This novel shows the gritty as well the gallant in a more candid portrayal of the West than had come before.