The whisper in the darkness is: rebellion! (Or: death or liberty!)
Frog is an orphan, a pickpocket, starving on the streets of Parramatta in 1804.
But when the tall, commanding Irish rebel Mr Cunningham talks of freedom from tyranny and the lash, Frog creeps out to join the rebels, the 10,000 convicts who will take over the colony and proclaim the Republic of New Ireland.
Will farmers like Barney and Elsie Bean join the battle against the corrupt New South Wales Corps? For the fate of the colony – and Australia – will be decided at Castle Hill.