Jim was an orphan when his uncle sent him away to sea and ""orphans of the wind"" was his friend Rolf's explanation of all sailors. Eventually Jim learns that ""Rolf was wrong: we were not 'orphans of the wind'; we were brothers of the earth, and the wind and the sea were our parents."" Underscoring the story of how he came to this understanding is the emphasis on the importance of individual liberty which was so well demonstrated in the author's Hakon of Rogen's Saga (1964) and A Slave's Tale (1965). The point does not come off quite so well here, since it is indicated too often through asides rather than as an integral part of the plot. Nevertheless the adventure, which deals with sabotage aboard the supposedly Boston-bound ship, with its cargo of arms, its destruction off the Carolina coast, the struggle of Jim and his friends to reach land, and their attempt to escape enlistment in the Confederate Army and to join the Northern forces, is strong in itself. This is not the author's best but it is still an absorbing story with a stirring theme.