After the inciting incident, where Daniel meets his childhood acquaintance Joel in the mountains outside the village, the rising action begins. Daniel and Joel participate in Rosh's raid on a caravan, which results in the capture of Samson, the large deaf-mute slave. Daniel offers to lead Samson back to camp, and thereafter, Samson shadows him.
After learning that his former master has died, Daniel visits his grandmother's home in the village and sees his sister after a long absence, but he returns to Rosh's camp.
Daniel visits Joel at his home in Capernaum and has an unpleasant encounter with Hezron, Joel's father. Afterward, he has a run-in with a Roman soldier and is injured. Joel and Thacia secretly nurse him back to health.
While trying to locate Simon, the town's blacksmith, Daniel hears Jesus speak to a crowd. On a mission for Rosh, Daniel attacks and steals from an old man but doesn't kill him; he receives a harsh reprimand from Rosh.
When Daniel's grandmother dies, Daniel returns to the village to live and takes over the blacksmith shop that Simon has given up in order to follow Jesus. In the village, Daniel forms a band of young men to work for Rosh in his efforts to overthrow the Romans. Thacia befriends Leah, and she begins to improve. Joel gets captured by Romans, and Daniel plans a raid to free him.
These are all events that build toward the climax of the story.