Period, locale and generic peoples here are identified only vaguely in a turgid and confusing round of conquests. Lalo, the Otter, 15, is a member of the hill people of Criag Ddu. Lalo's people worship Earth Mother. Kaa, the Guardian, champions Lalo's safety at the greatest risks to himself. Ambushed and overcome by the sun-worshippers and their chief, Morag, Lalo fears he will never again see Kaa. After Lalo saves the life of Cradoc, prince of the sun-people, Cradoc rewards him with the return of Yan, the dog the boy prizes. The erstwhile enemies become friends, are captured by the cave people, and as Kaa and Lalo are reunited, the cave people and the fisher folk arrive to descend upon Criag Ddu simultaneously. Action is murky and difficult to follow.