Raised to take the place of her dead brother, Carlota de Zubaran can do anything that Carlos could have done. She races her stallion through the California lowlands, dives into shark-infested waters searching for gold, and fights in the battles that rage between the Mexicans and the Americans. At sixteen, she is fearless--and that pleases her father very much. Yet while Carlota throughly enjoys her freedom, she wants to be more than her father's "son." She wants to be herself, brave and courageous but free to show feelings of tenderness and compassion as well. Her father thinks such feelings are shameful, so Carlota must defy him. That will be the most difficult battle of all.