After the Battle of Naseby Sir John Emrey brings a dying Highland chieftain's heir to his home, and promises to restore his sword to his clan. When his mother and sister Blanche are driven from their home in the north of England, they plan to go to relatives in Ireland after delivering the sword, but are persuaded to stay in Scotland where Blanche becomes a friend and companion to Fiona Macdonald, the new heir.
Sir John goes to fight with Montrose, while Fiona is beseiged with suitors eager to take control of her inheritance. There are her cousins, and her neighbour the Black Campbell. And there I danger from her aunt and uncle, the next in line to rule the clan.