A psychological novel of Venezuela's struggle for independence in 1815, dramatic, from its title to the final scene -- from ""lances red"" in the blood of the country's enemies to the death of Campos, as Bolivar makes a triumphal entrance into the village. One sees here the inertia, the fatal hesitation of the upper class, who will not fight until their world is swept away. The hacienda owner decides to support the Republicans, the brutal mayordomo, Campos, battles for Spain. The chapters in which he rallies the peons into an army of his own, then burns the hacienda and rapes its mistress, bring into sharp focus the methods of war in Latin America. Pietri's lean, clear-cut style keeps tragedy from becoming melodrama, and gives a dynamic quality, swift and intense, to the book.