On April 16, 1746, Ailis (15) and Liam (16) are caught in the devastating Battle of Culloden and meet in the aftermath as British soldiers scour the moor, killing survivors. Together with Liam’s Scottish Deerhound, Duncan, they hide until they can escape.The British are sparing no one--young or old, male of female--to make sure the Scots do not rebel again. This begins their terrifying journey into Scotland’s Highlands in search of safety.
Pursued by the English officer, Carstairs, whose cold voice they first heard as they hid near the battlefield, they are helped and betrayed by other Scots. They find safety for a while with men protecting Prince Charles Stuart, heir to the Scottish throne. But are they really being protected, or are they going to be used to lure the English away from Bonnie Prince Charlie?
Ailis and Liam take shelter in ancient stone circles, where Duncan sees things they can’t, and where Ailis has dreams that guide her. Liam, from a family of bagpipers, who had gone to Culloden with his father, to pipe the men into battle, sees that war is not the exciting thing he thought it was, and retribution after the war is destroying Scotland.
Always, as they travel, Carstairs seems to find them, and as the mountains grow steeper, the enemy always after them, they grow closer to each other as they endure hunger and fear, and hope begins to fade. And Ailis’s dreams grow more frightening.