Felix de Cabezeda y Brooke--who escaped Napoleonic Spain to search for his noble family in England (Go Saddle the Sea) and returned to Spain at 13, only to be shipwrecked and pursued through the Pyrenees by a possessed abbot (Bridle the Wind)--is summoned from his studies at Salamanca by his old friend Juana to help rescue her cousin's children, held prisoner by their political-rebel father. Felix, now 18, lets his love for Juana, now a nun, blind him to the possibility that such a journey may be a political intrigue designed to use him as a pawn in a larger scheme--as indeed it is. Felix's first-person narrative is full of his own brash vitality. He faithfully records his emotions as well as the perils of the journey--which include spies, assassins, bears, a terrifying rope bridge over a chasm, and a cliff top castle hide-out with a secret tunnel. Meanwhile, veteran Aiken lets her readers gather clues and make inferences as her plot twists and turns, and gives as much personality to each mountain town as to her characters. Although this is a rousing good adventure as is, there are frequent references to past adventures; it will be enjoyed most by readers familiar with them.