Sixteen-year-old Kaul, a bartender's helper, is rudely awakened one morning by angry voices outside his sleeping room in the saloon. It is not long before he realizes he has just unwittingly overheard the details of an evil plot to kill the Queen. Kaul has seen and heard too much. Suddenly, his life is in danger.
Kaul has no choice but to escape quickly, not knowing where he is headed. Feeling the pull of the huge, unfriendly Carpan Forest, he enters a foreign world he has always feared. As unknown pursuers with large dogs and an uncanny knowledge of the forest gain with every step, Kaul attempts to shake his seekers and forge on before all is lost-including, perhaps, his own life. But then Kaul meets his appointed guide, Endira-an old woman who holds her gnarled wooden cane more like a weapon than a walking stick. With her, he begins a coming-of-age journey that leads him through a continuous battlefield of ever-increasing foes to budding love and a new beginning.
In this fast-paced epic, a boy transforms into a man and realizes an inner-strength he never knew he possessed.