This is one of the best works by H. Rider Haggard that I've read, and I've read a good number of them. This is the tale of how Allan Quatermain, hero of 14 of Haggard's books, including "King Solomon's Mines," met his first wife. It is set against the time of the Great Trek in the 1830s, and is jammed with action, adventure and romance. There are two terrific villains, Dingaan (brother of Chaka) and a Portuguese who's trying to not only kill our hero, but rob him of his wife in the bargain. The book starts out with a thrilling battle scene, and ends with a scene of tremendous emotional intensity. In between there is so much colorful action and movement that you find yourself zipping through the chapters as quickly as you can. The book is a true "page turner," with great sweep and drive. The supporting characters are either colorful, comedic or memorable. Hans--Quatermain's Hottentot sidekick from many of the other books--is featured here, too, and his is always a welcome presence. What a shame that this book has been out of print for so many years, along with the great preponderance of the other works of this wonderful writer. Haggard has been called the greatest adventure fantasist of all time, and I would tend to agree with that assessment. So do yourself a favor and go to the trouble of seeking this book out. It will reward your efforts!