As always with this author there is plenty of action in this book. Two teenage boys of about the same age come from families which have been in intense rivalry for centuries. Each of them lives in a castle set among the wild and desolate hills of Derbyshire, an almost mountainous area in the Midlands of England, known generally as the Peak District. The boys know each other but as enemies. Yet events occur which draw them together as allies, but they dare not call themselves friends. A roguish band of ex-soldiers have arrived in the district, and set upcamp out on the moors, from whence they descend to steal from, rob andloot the houses of the poorer folk. The boys privately form an alliance using the men working on their fathers' land as a private army, to attack and rid the land of thesedesperadoes. Their first attack results in dreadful failure. But then they revise their ideas of what they can use for weaponry, and are finally successful. According to Wikipedia: "George Manville Fenn (January 3, 1831, Pimlico - August 26, 1909, Isleworth) was a British writer. He worked as a teacher in Lincolnshire, until he became printer, editor and publisher of various magazines. He had eight children with his wife Susanna Leake, whom he had married in 1855. Most of his work consists of adventure stories for young readers, featuring Explorers, Smugglers, young Adventurers and Seamen. His adult novels offer critical social commentary on Victorian England, especially reconsidering economic questions."