Like Nancy Faulkner's other stories, this is set in early colonial days along the southern Atlantic seaboard as it tells the story of young Ian MacDonald and his struggle to become a doctor in the New World. En route to Jamaica with his father when the book opens, their ship is attacked by pirates and Ian and his father held captive by Benjamin Hornigold and Blackbeard. Later Ian's father is killed, and though Ian escapes to Williamsburg, he swears revenge and must have it before he can think clearly of the future. Ian is avenged when Blackbeard is killed at Okracoke, though this interim of outside activity costs him the good will of Dr. Blair, whose position offers Ian the only chance to study medicine. Dr. Blair's other protege, Hank Jenkins, shows false colors and at last Jim is accepted. Fair.