When first met, twelve year old Hanne has no goal in life except to be her father's perfect housekeeper; her ostentatiously virtuous behavior stems from a desire to attract his attention rather than conviction. It is the 16th century and he is building a castle in Elsinore where she attempts to join him. On the way, she takes shelter in a blizzard in Count Andreas' hunting lodge where she meets Carl Adam, who later turns out to be the Count's son. Then there's the pirate who is raiding the king's fleet of valuable cargo needed to finish the castle. The clues indicate that the pirate may be the Count, but all is not that simple. The pirate is Carl's father, the Count is his uncle, and Carl is a lonely boy who wants to believe his father is a good man. The author spells out the moral: don't be in a hurry to grow up into a world ""where right and wrong were all mixed up and you had to keep choosing between them."" The inference to be drawn is evident and disagreeable; carpe your childhood diem and don't worry about principles. This is ironic in view of the fact that the author's specialty is junior novels in which youngsters are given to infallibility.