Ben and Charity Muldoon are 15-year-old twins who find themselves in the midst of politically charged events in the Saskatchewan River Valley in 1885. One day, as Ben is walking through a ravine, he encounters a Cree boy named Red Eagle, who quickly becomes his friend after a hair-raising rescue. Ben eventually discovers that a confrontation between the North-West Mounted Police and the Natives, led by Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont, is imminent. As events unfold, Ben and Red Eagle witness the struggles of the Metis and Cree for recognition and the failed efforts to negotiate a settlement that ultimately lead to tragedy and war. Caught between his loyalty to Red Eagle and the authority of a Hudson's Bay Company uncle he has never trusted, Ben must decide where his allegiance lies. But as he soon learns, when it comes to friendship, there is no taking sides.
B.J. Bayle's first children's novel, Mystery at Meander Lake, made Canadian Living's Recommended Reading List. Her second book, Trail of Fire, was shortlisted for the Alberta Writing for Children Competition. Perilous Passage, her novel about explorer David Thompson, is also available from Dundurn. She lives in Cochrane, Alberta, near Calgary.