1677, on a late summer's evening two ships lurk off the coast of southwest Ireland. They are Barbary corsairs from North Africa, slave catchers. As soon as it is dark, their landing parties row ashore to raid a small fishing village - on the hunt for fresh prey . . .
In the village, seventeen-year-old Hector Lynch wakes to the sound of a pistol shot. Moments later he and his sister Elizabeth are taken prisoner. From then on Hector's life plunges into a turbulent and lawless world that is full of surprises. Separated from Elizabeth, he is sold to the slave market of Algiers, where he survives with the help of his newfound friend Dan, a Miskito Indian from the Caribbean.
The two men convert to Islam to escape the horrors of the slave pens, only to become victims of the deadly warfare of the Mediterranean. Serving aboard a Turkish corsair ship, their vessel is sunk at sea and they find themselves condemned to the oar as galley slaves for France. Driven by his quest to find his sister, Hector finally stumbles on the chilling truth of her fate when he and Dan are shipwrecked on the coast of Morocco . . .