More in the tradition of Foxes of Harr and The Vixens than his more recent books, this is a romantic period novel, set in Natchez of the decade before secession. A lusty, vigorous tale, with Yerby's characteristic gift for pace of story. The outline of plot is conventional enough- though again Yerby's women surpass his men in their tumultuous passionate natures, their aggressive passions, their intense and dominant possessiveness. Here is a battle, literally to the death, of three women for one man, -- Ross Pary, newly come back to Natchez from European schooling as an architect ambitious in his profession, and determined to rise out of the sordid background of his youth in Natchez under the Hill, and take his place with the planter gentry. But Ross was now aided, now thwarted, by the determination of the capricious, cruelly tantalizing Morgan, bride of his good friend, Lance Brittany. Hating her- but fascinated by her- Ross sacrificed his true love for the Cuban patriot, Conchita, who would brook no competition for the love she freely offered, though she set many barriers to marriage. There is an interval, melodramatic and unreal, in which Ross becomes all man in participation in the Cuban insurrection, forlorn and defeated effort to break with the cruel Spaniards. Then home, believing Conchita dead, he marries the third woman in his life, Cathy -- and eventually it is again Morgan who wrecks their marriage by circuitous tricks, only to fall victim to her own base schemes. The story ends on a note of hope that Conchita and Ross will find each other again.... Often a brutal book, not for the tender skinned -- but with less of deliberate lewdness than in some of his earlier work.