Growing up among Mexican vaqueros on a small horse ranch in California in the mid-1800s, Jason Tralee, a self-reliant and resourceful young man, experiences an unconventional childhood, strongly shaped by Gouyen, the ranch foreman’s wife. Driven by the fear of losing another son to the turbulence unfolding in the country, in 1868 his father arranges a working passage for seventeen-year-old Jason aboard a ship carrying horses from San Diego to the port of Lyttelton, New Zealand.
Proving his worth, and amply rewarded, Jason remains in the South Island and soon makes his way across to the West Coast. There he becomes involved in goldmining, first in Greenstone Creek and then in the Reefton area, where his hard rock gold mining enterprise meets with unexpected results. This sets in motion a series of events that sees Jason embark on a dangerous venture en route to California.
Jason returns to the ranch his father abandoned, and his life takes an unexpected turn as he rebuilds what was once lost. Facing a threat he has been preparing for his entire life, Jason risks everything to hold onto what is his. And so events come full circle. Will Jason succeed?