Twen, consummate warrior of the Ottawa Valley Algonkin, is torn between his devotion to his people, love of his Valley, and an offer to accompany the charismatic explorer, Champlain. Should he choose the musket or the axe of his childhood going apart dream? For a time Twen follows the Mittigoush, the French. And returns to his Valley home to find his family murdered or captured by Mohawk Adders.
A gallant foray with Piskaret, famed Algonkin warrior, rescues some of Twen's clan but the Iroquois Adders are too strong. Twen's beloved Valley is raped first by the Adders and then by French voyageurs hungry for beaver pelts.
Refuge offered Twen and the remnants of his clan by valourous French missionaries at Ville Marie leads to a new allegiance. He admires their bravery and their consummate faith. A habitant family, the Perraults, become his second family. He will love them, scout for them, and protect them as his own when the Adders come. Finally he watches in dismay as brash newcomers to the mission decide to ambush the Adder war parties at Long Sault.
Torn between two loves and two beliefs, will Twen sacrifice even his life for these Frenchmen?
And what of his progeny? When allegiance, even desire springs up between white and red, when persecution by newcomers fills Algonkin hearts with bitterness, will Twen's clan return to the Valley? And, if they do, will his People, his Valley accept the offspring of the Métis?