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Nicety of psychological motivation and a sense of unravelling threads of past history put this above the average fiction output, for in the story of Jacques Fertray's discovery of a father he had never known is the discovery of a kind of life he thought he hated. A famed, distinguished Polar explorer, Fertray had left to his son only defiance of the legend he had originated. But the importance of recognition of possible air routes necessitates a new expedition to the northern archipelago and Jacques, first refusing to go, is forced into it by his mother's health. In the process of organizing, outfitting, he learns different things about his father and tries to fit this new evidence into what he had known. It is through his love for the Chief's wife and the climax she precipitates that the picture becomes clear and he leaves for the North secure in the hope of becoming his father's son wholly. A feeling for the Breton country of Merlin, the plausibility of the psychological conflicts, add significance to this story of France between the wars, of the glory and honor of the field of exploration.

Publisher: Random House