The time is 1675, the place, the New England colonies of Connecticut, Massachusetts' and Rhode Island. King Philip, sachem of the Pokanokets, is rallying the Indian tribes to drive the colonists from the land. Fifteen-year-old Abel Wright is the narrator, his descriptions first as a captive, later as a fighter driven by his vow to avenge his father's death. From the opening sentence, ""It was Elijah Biddlecome who suggested it, though I ought to have known better than to listen to him,"" we are presented with a boy who instinctively sees events and evaluates people in a way that precludes black and white judgments. The reader is not surprised when Abel cannot kill King Philip because we, along with Abel, are made to understand the forces that led Philip to try and save the land for its original owners. Here is action, vivid descriptions of Indian life and warfare, and a theme worthy of thought.