Rothschild's territory is the unstaked North country of Maine, a land of tree-necked woodsmen; hunters; fecund, witchy women; and the hidden reaches of the human heart. The title novella is a rich, mythic tale of love and revenge, of legendary logger Mordecai Rime, who bites off great chunks of prose and spews out poetry. By turns enchanting and bawdy, the tale ends in an excess of horror that matches its mighty players. In other stories the author explores a historical account of Indian betrayal, a man's obsession with falconry, hunters and hunted, and the terrible ironies and retribution wrought by man's taming the land and its beasts. Several of the stories appeared in the collection Rhapsody of a Hermit (1973) and in Best American Short Stories. They resonate with the mythic power of Beowulf, the moral preoccupations of Hawthorne or Faulkner.-- Mary Soete, San Diego P.L.