"Terror hung in the air like the foul-smelling smoke from a gutted house, where people have been burned alive inside. I could feel it. Wraeththu. I shiver to say the word. Something has happened to them. Where did they come from? How did it happen? Why is it spreading like a plague? ‘I have seen. I have seen what they do. I have seen their faces. They always take their dead with them, always. There is a secret. Don’t you understand? A secret. Wraeththu are not what they seem. They are more than they seem.’"
Pellaz Cevarro has heard tales of the Wraeththu, a youth cult shrouded in mystery that many say is more than it seems. It is only when the enigmatic Cal arrives at the Cevarro farm that Pell discovers the truth. Lured away by Cal to a different life, Pell discovers that Wraeththu are poised to replace humanity upon a ravaged world. Changed in body, mind and soul, Pell cannot escape a destiny that was set for him, nor the tragic consequences of his association with Cal.