A relief from the recent. The Nylon Pirates, this takes its story from the mid-nineteenth century and the East, on a possible island, Makassang, in the Java Seas. Richard Marriott has wandered ten years as a disillusioned freebooter after his father's death in England has revealed him a pauper and a bastard and lost him the woman he had loved; now his ""private"" warship with its trained crew of fighting seamen has gone aground on a reef off Makassang. Richard is summoned to the Rajah whose threats and promise of money cause Richard to accept the offer to drive out insurgents under an old enemy, Black Harris. Successful, he is adopted by the Rajah and given his daughter, Princess Sunara, in marriage. Two more victories in other uprisings and the birth of a son keep Richard in favor but when restiessness and inactivity spur him to plan for a model kingdom he is accused of treason and ostracized. An immediate threat to his life is averted when HM warship arrives with Richard's half-brother in command and, through his support, when the Rajah is killed, Richard becomes the new Rajah with the chance of fulfilling his dreams for his little country. Eastern backgrounds, issues of the past that echo today, romance and torture, keep this popular on all counts.