VGC.Macmillan,1995.First edition-3rd printing(3 5 7 9 8 6 4).Blue hardback(gilt lettering to the spine,a couple of nicks,dents and crease on the edges of the cover) with Dj(a couple of large creases,small tear and nicks on the edges of the Dj cover),both in VGC.Nice and clean pages with a couple ink marks and light shelf wear on the outer edges,two marks and ink mark on the edges of the first blank page of the book and front cover,small nicks,crease and two marks on the edges of the pages.The book is in VGC with light shelf wear on the Dj cover.490pp.Price un-clipped.Heavy book. This is another paragraph From Publishers Weekly: The key to Follett's absorbing new historical novel (after A Dangerous Fortune) lies in words that made a slave of every Scottish miner's son in the 1700s: I pledge this child to work in [the laird's] mines, boy and man, for as long as he is able, or until he die. When young Malachi (Mack) McAsh challenges this practice, citing its illegality, he begins a pattern of rebelling against authority while pursuing justice. Mack's dangerous quest for freedom makes him a fugitive in High Glen, where he is brutally punished by Sir George Jamisson in retaliation for his intention to quit the mines. After escaping to London, Mack confronts injustice again when he tries to break the monopoly of undertakers, who furnish crews to unload coal from ships; arrested and tried, he is transported to Virginia as an indentured servant. All this time, his fate is intertwined with that of Lizzie Hallim, daughter of the impoverished laird of High Glen, who is as spirited, independent-minded and daring as is Mack himself. (Readers may not quite believe her sexual aggressiveness, but Follett knows how to strike chords with feminists.) But Lizzie is gentry, so she must marry Jay, the younger Jamisson son. Follett adroitly escalates the suspense by mixing intrigue and danger, tinged with ironic complications. He also provides authoritative background detail, including specifics about the brutal working conditions of mine workers and coal heavers and the routine of an American tobacco plantation. History is served by references to real-life English liberal John Wilkes, who challenged the established view that the virtual enslavement of common men by aristocrats was God's will, and events in Virginia as the Colonies move toward rebellion. If the dialogue sometimes seems lifted from a bodice-ripper, and if far-fetched coincidences keep flinging Lizzie and Mack together, these flaws are redeemed by Follett's vigorous narrative drive and keen eye for character.