In 1641 rebellion broke in Ulster and great numbers of Protestant settlers were massacred. The following year, an Irish army under the leadership of Calvagh O'Conor Don was defeated at Ballintober, County Roscommon, by Parliamentarians under the leadership of Lord Ranelagh, Sir Robert King and Sir Charles Coote. After the battle, a soldier pulled a “mountero” from the head of one of the slain and immediately, “there fell down long tresses of flaxen hair, who being further searched was found a woman." (Edmund Borlase, 'The History of the execrable Irish Rebellion').
The writer reveals that the woman in question was Úna Bhán Mac Dermot, beloved of the poet Thomas Costello. How Úna changed from a bright, carefree girl into an ardent rebel is the subject of this engrossing novel.