Val Darrant was just four years old the snowy night his mother abandoned him. But instead of meeting a lonely death, he met Will Reilly--a gentleman, a gambler, and a worldly, self-taught scholar. For ten years they each were all the family the other had, traveling from dusty American boomtowns to the cities of Europe--until the day Reilly's luck ran out in a roar of gunfire.
But it wasn't a gambling brawl or a pack of thieves that sealed Will's fate. It was a far more complex story that Val would soon uncover, one that touched upon Val's nearly forgotten childhood, the woman who was Will Reilly's lost love, and the violent future of a growing country.