North Carolina and the bitter civil war that was fought there before the Revolution came to fruition, has -- in the past two years -- found various chroniclers. Now Constance Dodge contributes another panel, in a story that reveals the abuses of Governor Tryon's incumbency, the excesses of the ""Regulators"" and the inadequacies of the Sons of Liberty. Carr Pryde had grown up in the shadow of his grandmother's dominant personality; Pryde's Halt was to be his someday, and he accepted it haughtily, but with no sense of responsibility of his position. Then circumstances through him across the path of some young people from the frontier settlement, and his horizon was expanded, his viewpoint given a jolt. From that time on his career was that of a weathercock, cursed by seeing both sides of every problem, frowned on by his own social peers, suspected by the ""rabble"" with whom he threw in his lot. Through the years leading up to the war, and through the war itself, the story unfolds. Quite unlike her previous books, two of which belonged to the costume school of derring-do historical fiction. This is uneven in values -- the historical background rings true -- the story marches.