Revolutionary New York, in the area stretching from Albany to Canada, forms background for the story of Derrick, who sees his family wiped out by Indians, and builds a creed of hate and revenge, part of his resolve to free America from an England that hired savages to do it. Exceptional characterization of leaders, both savage and white, marks this book from the usual. The learned, Greek-speaking, Oxford- educated Indian chief is a character to be long remembered. The dogged determination which filled Americans who saw their work go up in flames, the curious stupidities of the war itself and its inevitability, these too are unusual facets of a rounded, thoughtful book. Allen has long experience in writing for boys; this is one of his best books. Too bad it comes to a crowded field.