Kill the monsters when they’re found. No matter who they used to be. The girl with secret feathers in her skin and strange bones jutting out beneath her clothes is resigned to her fate. Her deformities mark her a monster and the stories say monsters must die. When her family finds out and turns on her, a village boy saves her and leads her on a frantic escape. The girl believes her death has merely been delayed—until he mentions a cure. With the world against them and the monstrous change progressing, they must cross water, forest, and field to chase the rumor that fuels their desperate hope. But is hope enough to keep them going?
The kandar are the children of the trees. Powerful. Immutable. Nine hundred eternal beings who need no sleep nor sustenance, created at the beginning of time to guard the nine human Earths. That was never meant to change. The youngest of five sisters, Tchardin is about to be acknowledged as queen of the kandar. She must lead them in their Creator-given Purpose–to guide and inspire the humans–but her people have been exiled to their homeworld for generations. None of them have seen the Earths. Not one of them has met a human. Tchardin can think of no way to end their exile until a strange longing calls her from beyond the shore of their island. Most of her sisters tell her to ignore it, to take her place as queen and focus on the kandar. One suggests she answer it, as it might be the key to finally returning her people to their Purpose.