Eliezer and Arrow St. Clair have established a homestead and forge on the Hudson, near West Point. An exiled Mohawk youth, Green-Star-Passes, takes refuge with them, along with his companion Willow Branch, an escaped Susquehannock slave-woman.
The once-distant troubles of the region come home when the nearby Dutch colony of New Amsterdam erupts in a civil war. Eliezer and Arrow decide to resettle in Mohawk country, leaving the forge to Green-Star-Passes and Willow Branch. A grueling boat-trip upstream delivers Eliezer, Arrow, and their three children to Mohawk country, where Eliezer impresses the Mohawks with his metal-working and crossbows,
Then smallpox erupts, and Eliezer and Arrow must fight the growing epidemic in the face of hostility from powerful shamans. Nor is disease the only danger threatening the Iroquois, who must also deal with expanding white settlement and new technology.
Eliezer and Arrow St. Clair have found a home with the Mohawks, but the future remains uncertain for all of them.