Angus and his family are sent from Scotland in 1813 on a voyage to start a new life in the strange and cruel new land of western Canada. In 1813, cleared out from their beloved Scottish Highlands, 15-year-old Angus, his mother, father, small brother Rabbie, and 100 others sail for Canada to seek a better life with assistance from Lord Selkirk. Angus, his family, and their friends the O'Hares, with their aloof, unsmiling daughter Maggie, share the hardships and terror of the sea voyage only to be dumped onto the shore of a forbidding land. There they spend a brutal winter. With bitter determination and help from the Native population, the settlers manage to reach the Red River. They are eager to finally begin their new life but meet obstacles even more dangerous when they are caught up in a struggle between the Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company, powerful fur-trading rivals. Despite this hard transition, Angus falls in love with this new land and takes his place beside the brave men who risk their lives to protect it.