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Canadian Métis teenager Thomas Theroux is pushed onto the trail to manhood after a routine trading post transaction goes horribly wrong. Not fully accepted by any of the powers jockeying for control of the gold-rich Saskatchewan frontier, Thomas must weave his way through the fortune seekers pouring into the territory, bellicose First Peoples, and the formidable landscape itself.
Pursued by a rival tribe determined to kill Thomas and extinguish the remains of his half-breed Gros Ventre family, Thomas enlists the help of his Uncle Black Feather to accomplish his father's dream of homesteading the wilderness. At the Hudson's Bay Company, the pair finds themselves embroiled in a frontier war between First Peoples and Europeans over how much civilization will take hold in the modernizing dominion.
With the help of new-found allies, mountain guide Versailles, his former slave Pierre, and a pair of rebellious Ojibwa sisters, Thomas and Black Feather fight their way back to their families along the bank of the North Saskatchewan River to begin rebuilding their lives. Along the way, Thomas must extricate himself from a love triangle that threatens to ignite another Indian war and decide whether to cast his lot with Europeans or First Peoples.