This is an historical portrayal of the Baltic lands at the end of the seventeenth century. Ten year old Torgrim and his baby sister Britta went in search of their parents who had been captured in a raid on the market they were visiting. Their trek started in Estonia, and their first companion was a merchant, one of the few survivors of the raid. Then they joined a small band of salters, and Torgrim helped them to sell their salt as they traveled through backwoods, primitive areas of Livonia. When they reached Riga Torgrim became the pupil of an eccentric monk, and eventually became reunited with his parents. There are moments of violence and of slapstick to bolster the narrative. The author has managed to convey the backwardness and crudity of the period but with a great deal of enthusiasm in a detailed, vigorous story.