This latest historical novel in the Land of the Free series is absorbing and diverting in its wealth of authentic detail about the society of the Spanish in New Mexico around 1695 when Spanish families refounded Santa Cruz during the ""reconquest"" of the lands the Indians had reclaimed from the conquistadors. The story of the Riveras, who take the journey to Santa Cruz provides the focus for the study of the period. Lucia, a lovely girl of sixteen, her twin brother, dashing Domingo, Signora Rivers, the twins' aunt and uncle, an old goatkeeper and an Indian slave, Gasper, are involved in the adventures attendant upon their arrival at their ancestral home -- Indian attacks, mysteries about lost property, Lucia's and Domingo's attempts to free Gasper from their uncle's bondage, the zealous efforts of Father Antonio to root out the remains of the pagan Indian religion and the experiments to introduce a new stock of ""silver"" goats with superior wool in the new land. As a pageant of color and atmosphere, this book has much to recommend it, but the story itself is too diffuse- episodic on too many levels for a well-knit story. There is good material here for background reading, but the reading may be too static and rarified for many.