In Russia, during the late sixteenth century, the Cossacks lived as free-booters, plundering Russian caravans and battling the Tartars. Mitya, a young country boy, ran away from home to join Yermak, the great Cossack hero, and his rugged band, at the time when Yermak was opening the way for Russian acquisition of Siberia. Writing in the picaresque tradition, the author records in minute detail the journeys and battles of Mitya. The dialogue embodies a naturalness; the descriptions emphasize the starkness of the Russian countryside. This novel which is smoothly translated, should prove to be exciting as well as informative (the picture of Russia is realistic) reading for young boys.