Bar-room brawls, brothels, and bounty hunters – all the tropes of the traditional Western novel are here in an adventure story of vengeance and redemption to suit any aficionado of the genre. Los Angeles is a Wild West town in this coming of age story of frontier life at the time of the American Civil War, where every young boy needs to prove himself a man - and a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do!
On the road, John Evert had ample time to consider his situation. Where once the notion of leaving California to go to war would have been unthinkable, he found himself now in a position of no security with no hope of ease, and thus he figured that he had but one option to embrace: heroism. He had little notion of the politics that led to war; his stance was but a simple one – what he had seen of Southern attitudes at the Order of the Lone Star had convinced him that that way was wrong, and thus to fight for the North was to fight for good. The guise of soldier had to be more respectable than that of an outlaw.