Another of Drake's imaginative and worthwhile reworkings of historical incidents as far-future science fiction (Fireships, p. 568, etc.), this one based on the exploits of Ethan Allen in pre- Revolutionary Vermont. The frontier planet Greenwood has been carved up into settlements by land grants from protector planet Hestia, but now claimants of competing grants made by rival planet Zenith are threatening to cause trouble. Huge, powerful colonist Yerby Bannock travels to the damp, dismal planet Dittersdorf, hoping to persuade the Alliance base there to lend him some troops to protect the Greenwood colonists; he also meets up with his shrewd, attractive sister, Amy, the cowardly quack ``Dr.'' Jesilind, and Mark Maxwell, a young gentleman of Quelhagen with a Harvard degree. Unfortunately, the Dittersdorf base is no longer operational; so when, back on Greenwood, the threatened incursion from Zenith duly occurs, Yerby and friends must rally the colonists to drive the invaders off. Soon, with legal wrangles in the offing and further fighting in prospect, some interested Quelhagen bigwigs encourage Yerby to form a militia. With one thing leading to another, Yerby will soon find himself battling not only Zenith but leading an open revolt against the Alliance as well. Absorbing, effective future history securely placed in context, much less violent and bloody than Drake's usual fare: Should appeal well beyond the usual shoot-'em-up-crowd.