Growing up in a country between nations, at a time between wars, in a society both ancient and modern, Joseph Berenyi seeks to be free. Beginning in the cobblestone streets of Brassó the reader is drawn into a world where a wolf-dog can be harnessed to a sled, naked Hussars plunge with horses into summer streams, and the hilarious schemes of boys cause uproar.
Then with a pen-stroke the country’s border is moved. High in the Carpathians is another world. Here the people call themselves descendants of Attila the Hun and whole villages live self-sustainably. It is in these harsh mountains, where shepherds fend off wolves and bears at night, that Joseph’s search takes him ever deeper into the wilderness. Meanwhile the drumbeats of a distant war thud ominously.