Alone in the Canadian wilderness in the 1620s, after her father's death, Ruth has to learn how to survive. During the first winter, she befriends a wolf and gives him the name of Zak. She soon has a pack of wolves and learns to hunt with them. Contact with the local Indians brings with it communication problems. Because she has a pack of wolves, the Indians give her the name Jaga na Kala—Mother of Wolves. When trappers murder one of the Indians, she has to determine which of three trappers caused the death of one of the Indians.