A regional novel in the historical tradition paints a vivid picture of the opening of lovely Genesee Valley, south of Rochester. Against the background of river valley is told a story of pioneers who settled with an eye to the future, locking horns with those trail blazers who were driven always forward and onward. Cyrus Fairchild belonged to the settlers, but his first winter might well have been his last had not Marcus Hook come to the rescue at the crucial moment. There is a build-up of the tension surrounding the unsought, little understood war of 1812, as it involved the ragged fringe of civilization. Adventure is here --with romance, more often thorny than not. Above average.