Madeleine de Verchere (another ""Daughter of Valor"") was an historical character in 17th century Canada, and was known in the period beyond this story as the Canadian Joan of Arc. Alida Malkus, a knowledgeable and skilled historical writer, has embellished her dramatic story with fictional elements as she tells of the heroic defense of Castle Dangerous during a nine-day siege by raiding Iroquois who were attempting to storm the isolated house near Montreal in New France. Fourteen year old Madeleine assumed full responsibility for two younger brothers, an elderly servant, and two incompetent and terrified men. These were turbulent days when the ranks of loyal French colonials were decimated by traitors willing to sell their heritage for furs from the Canadian Indians who savagely fought the white intruders. Alida Malkus builds up slowly and uncertainly to the climax of the siege, and somehow fails to project her heroine against an authentic sense of life--or to give her story full substance. Perhaps she is working here in an unfamiliar background. Her books against a Spanish-American setting show her at her best.