This is good history but poor fiction -- one feels that the story limps, the romance is two-dimensional, the fictional characters are unreal -- and yet the factual content is so dramatically handled that the stormy, confused period of Kansas' internal wars, term between the forces of North and South, come clear as never before. The story opens with the departure of the New Englanders from Boston -- sense seeking free rich land and a new life, others spurred by fiery idealism, fanaticism. Delia Ware, wife of the scholarly Jonsthan, is an Abolitionist -- but wholly unprepared for the pioneer life, the crude conditions, the violence of the country into which her seal has taken her. Her husband, reluctant at the start, loves the challenge of the new soil, and fights for his right to maintain his place there. Historical characters -- Robinson, governor of the Free State while still unrecognised; Lane, power behind the throne, a Muey Long of his day; John Brown, briefly and violently portrayed; Ware himself, moderator, counsellor, scholar who becomes door -- these figures are well d, and a grim segment of our national growth is vigorously presented. Definitely a book somewhat limited in appeal to those interested in the period.