Something strange is happening in the Black Mountains: people are disappearing, government equipment is being stolen and destroyed, and the miners are in revolt. Countries occupied for centuries by the Black Empire are declaring their independence, and General Sark is powerless to stop the rebellion. A mysterious Robin Hood'like figure known only as Manuelo is thought to be responsible. Fighting under cover of darkness and always in disguise, Manuelo is never seen by anyone other than his closest associates, so Lily Quench goes underground'literally ?to find out exactly who he is and what he is fighting for. . . .