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It is 1692 and Dory's life is as carefree as clan living can be. As the spirited 12-year-old granddaughter to the chief of the MacDonalds of Glencoe, Dory spends her free time hunting with her buzzard, Merlin, and cattle-rustling with the men. When her clan is attacked in the most heinous way, her best friend Gilbert is killed and her family is ripped apart. She must flee her home. Protected by only a timid lad for an escort and her mother's cairngorm necklace, Dory hikes through the rough terrain of the Highlands to the port city of Greenock where she talks her way onboard a ship bound for America. On the ocean voyage, Dory is forced into disguise and must survive the taunts and pranks of the crewmembers. Merlin is not the only bird she must control on the open seas. She must also keep the captain's annoying parrot from disturbing him or face one of the brutal punishments doled out at sea.Once in the Massachusetts Bay Colony of the New World, Dory must find her relatives and prove she is family. The town is in the grips of a terrible and enigmatic menace.
While still mourning all that she has lost, Dory tries to find where she fits in this new and sometimes terrifying place. Dory has survived an attack on her clan, trekking through the Scottish wilderness, and terrors at sea only to land in a town gripped by madness. Dory must learn not to stand out, as those who do are accused of witchcraft. The story of Dory begins during the infamous Glencoe Massacre and ends during the Salem witch trial crisis. These events provide the backdrop for the story of an intelligent, compassionate girl who is thrust into unimaginable situations and ultimately finds her own life on the line.