Lee Arthur covers a period of approximately 30 years in this book, during the time of Henry VIII. This story takes place in Scotland, and gives the reader a very good idea of the politics and sovereign rulers of that time. Told from the view of a young Irish lad indentured by his father to serve the McKenzies, the first part of the book is engrossing. As the focus changes over the years portrayed, the story eventually settles down to the life of the heir to the earldom. The Mer-Lion is their badge. Arthur is so vivid in describing events that the reader feels like he is actually experiencing...the excitement, the slave auctions (as a slave), the harrowing journey thru the desert, and the finale, the "games" these 7 young men of Scotland endure in hope of regaining their freedom, against all odds, and against the perfidy of the rulers of that time; i.e. James of Scotland, Henry VIII, and the Moulay along with his daughter, for whom the games will declare the man who wins her hand in marriage. An excellent read for anyone who enjoys a good story, with some factual history thrown in, and an ending that leaves it to your own imagination what becomes of the surviving young men.