Dublin, 1830: When his da breaks his arm, Hugh ‘Scholar’ O’Dare has to leave school to work as a chimney sweeper with his brothers. The job is scary and dangerous, but Scholar knows their growing family won’t survive without the money he earns.
On Christmas Eve, the brothers are working in 30 Merrion Square, home of the most famous man in Ireland, Daniel O’Connell. The ‘Liberator’ tells Scholar he has heard of his talent for maths – which makes Scholar yearn even more to be back in his beloved class.Â
When travelling sweep Darby Madden and his apprentice Bert start going after the O’Dares’ jobs, Scholar’s dad and brothers plan to chase them out of town. Scholar is tasked with scaring Bert off, but a shocking secret comes to light, catapulting them both in a new direction. Who will they turn to for help, and how will the secret change their futures?