The author of Pageant, which was a dark horse best seller several years ago, has lost none of her power for depicting a large canvas and a period of conflicting forces in the settlement of a new country. This time she has chosen New Zealand, a hundred years ago, and once more her focus is on the women who played their part, unrecorded by history, in building a new country. There is Sally, child bride of hard, ambitious, sadistic Peregrine Lovel; there is her madcap sister, Darien, opportunist and enchantress, who came to accept matrimony as a means to an end, and once widowed, turned to filling a man's place in the new country she had made her own; and there is Tiffany, daughter to Sally and Peregrine, with her mother's and aunt's charm, and her father's undeviating intensity in obtaining the thing she wants, and with an imagination and honesty and sense of fun and a courage all her own. Into the story of the three of them, G. B. Lancaster has woven the tapestry of New Zealand's stormy making, the struggles to establish a Victorian society in the wilds, the far-reaching hands of England attempting to rule a people of whose problems nothing was known, the incessant warfare with the Maoris which took its toll of the youth of New Zealand. A crowded canvas, but with a story that is more insistent than that of Pageant. A long meaty novel, which will appeal to those who like substantial historical fiction and an unhackneyed setting.