My little brother came into this world with half a skull. He stayed for a day, then left again, taking my mother with him.
Thirteen generations have passed since the ancestors burned the world. Little remains of that time now; the forests have grown back and people live in peace and plenty. The Vulture Priests keep watch over the worst relic of old: nuclear radiation. Their mysterious rituals contain it and drive people away from places it has poisoned.
But sometimes, the Vulture Priests fail.
Robin, a young woman on the brink of initiation, lives with her family downstream of a Vulture Priest temple, and warnings begin piling up. Her parents suffer miscarriage after miscarriage. Men die too young, children fail to come into the world, and a dead green-furred ray-cat appears on the side of a creek. When Robin’s mother dies giving birth to a severely mutated baby, it forces the family to admit that radiation has poisoned their land.
Now Robin, her father Glassknapper, her father’s sibling Narluga, and her aunt Vervain, must leave their homelands and travel across the world in search of answers.