The story of a young clergyman who becomes a wanderer in the great western uplands—until at last love and faith awake.
The Rainbow Trail, also known as The Desert Crucible, is Western author Zane Grey's sequel to Riders of the Purple Sage. Originally published under the title The Rainbow Trail in 1915, it was re-edited and re-released in recent years as The Desert Crucible with the original manuscript that Grey submitted to publishers.
The novel takes place ten years after events of Riders of the Purple Sage. The wall to Surprise Valley has broken, and Jane Withersteen is forced to choose between Lassiter's life and Fay Larkin's marriage to a Mormon.
Both novels are notable for their protagonists' mild opposition to Mormon polygamy, but in The Rainbow Trail this theme is treated more explicitly. The plots of both books revolve around the victimization of women in the Mormon culture: events in Riders of the Purple Sage are centered on the struggle of a Mormon woman who sacrifices her wealth and social status to avoid becoming a junior wife of the head of a local church, while The Rainbow Trail contrasts the older Mormons with the rising generation of Mormon women who will not tolerate polygamy and Mormon men who do not seek it.
Zane Grey was one of the first millionaire authors. With his veracity and emotional intensity, he connected with millions of readers worldwide, during peacetime and war, and inspired many Western writers who followed him.
Grey was a major force in shaping the myths of the Old West and his books and stories have been adapted into over 100 movies. His total book sales exceed 40 million.