alternate narratives, from dom, the son of a newspaper magnate, imprisoned at his rural school, and adeline, the young surviving clone from sharp north. dom tells, through his diary, of the huge changes coming to the world, and how cloning became a way to ensure power for a select group of people. he becomes one of those whose genetic material is taken to form the clones used by the great families and is, therefore, a forebear of adeline's. his diary is now in the hands of adeline and his story drives forward her own. adeline now lives with clarissa in a settlement in the pyrenees, though it is under attack from incomers. showing symptoms of ill-health, adeline hides the fact that she is a flawed clone and debates the truth of the 'serpent' prophecy, suggested by her differently coloured eyes. could she really be the saviour briton hopes for?