Multiaward winner Crace (Being Dead) creates astonishing worlds, and hes set to do it again. In an isolated English village one frosty morning, smoke is seen drifting skyward, one column signaling that strangers are approaching, as custom dictates, another that Master Kents stables are ablaze. The strangers are blamed for the stable fire, even as the odd Mr. Quill carefully observes the villagers lands, apparently at the request of Kent. Change is coming, and Crace limns the foreboding.

A remote English village wakes on the morning after harvest, looking forward to enjoying a hard-earned day of rest and feasting. But two mysterious columns of smoke mar the sky, raising alarm and suspicion.