There are never any strangers in the isolated moorland village of Near. Until now. A mysterious young man has been glimpsed in the moonlight. A child disappears each night. Is the stranger to blame, or does the moor harbour dark secrets?
The Vanishers left the world in tatters. The waters are poisoned, disease is rampant, lives are balanced against value and need. The elders give Yên to a dragon as payment for a healing; but what value can a failed scholar have to an immortal spirit? What need can an unwanted peasant girl fulfil?