Hold me now, oh hold me now
Till this hour has gone around
And I’m gone on the rising tide
For to face Van Diemen’s land.
By 1805, Britain’s Bloody Code was sending hoards of criminals to their death. More than 222 offenses were punishable by execution including stealing bread and cutting down a tree without permission.
To solve the country’s massive overcrowding of gaols, parliament decided to set up a new system for exiling criminals. The first boat full of paupers, debtors, murders and thieves set sail for Van Diemen’s Land in 1810, a small island off the coast of Australia, the great southern continent formerly known as New Holland.
Five years later, 17 year old Finn O’bannon is on board another, similar ship, traveling with his mother, his younger brother Cullen, and his father who’d been convicted and exiled for treason along with 12 other rebels.
Shortly after their arrival, Finn’s parents are murdered by someone in the hard labor camp his father had been assigned to. With no money and no way home, Finn and Cullen are left to try to fend for themselves.
But as they seek to unravel the mystery of who killed their father, while struggling for survival in a dangerous land where chaos rules and corruption thrives, there are two things that Finn never expected.
One was to discover magic in the wild land he found himself a part of…
And the other was to fall in love.