Fourteen-year-old Rome Kaiser and his younger brother Arden Lane escape an abusive father and flee to a mountain hiding place above north Tucson in 1924. Author Stan Witt uses humor and satire to present a fantastic world that exposes contradictions of a real world, promising the reader an unpredictable journey. Protagonist Rome struggles to reconcile his personal responsibility with a belief in a predestined fate as he acts out of a self-created “code of honor,” even when it means breaking the law. While serving time in the state reformatory, Rome learns that he has promise as a boxer, and so carries his code of honor into the ring as a professional pugilist. Colorful dialog, entangling romance, and revelation of Rome’s inner world keep us laughing at his folly, suffering his despair, and castigating his judgment as we are captivated by this controversial character.