Greenwood is a beautiful, pastoral world, recently settled by a small number of rugged individualists, each of whom has his or her idea of how things should be run. But the lawyers, politicians, and bean-counters of some older colonies see Greenwood simply as potential profits, discounting the prior claims of the settlers. And when the Earth government decides to send an army to rule the colony by force, the settlers must unite or lose their livelihoods and maybe their lives. Mark Maxwell, taking a year off to travel the frontier planets before being forced to join his father's law firm, runs into Yerby Bannock, a Greenwood settler with enthusiasms as big as all outdoors, and Yerby's sister, Amy, who is coming home from school. Swept along by force of circumstance, these unlikely allies find themselves working together to save Greenwood. There's action aplenty, as Yerby, who feels that most problems can be settled by brute force, tempered by the native common sense of Army and the shrewd counsel of Mark, struggles to weld the fractious Greenwood pioneers into a unity that can withstand the combined might of the Old World.