A devastating fire has swept through the forest above the ridge, killing Tir's pack and leaving him captive in the hands of strangers. One of these strangers, Palva the Gatherer, was expecting his arrival; a prophecy warned her of an approaching disaster heralded by the appearance of a swollen orange moon. Palva's secrecy and cold resolve does not put Tir at ease, but he is determined to create a new life for himself.
Meanwhile, in a nearby forest, the renegade wolf Alanki plays both sides of the old game of Hunter and Hunted. Abandoned as a pup for the birth defect of being born a runt, she was taken in by a herd of deer who hold a tremendous respect for the old tales as passed down by designated storytellers. The deer give Alanki her name, A-Lankhi, because she is the daughter of the predator; there is a legend in the herd that any acts of kindness done for their natural enemy will be repaid in kind, when the herd is threatened with destruction.
Tensions come to a head as Tir's new pack begins to hunt the deer and Palva's fire moon waxes in the sky. Alanki jumps to defend her foster family, but is disturbed to discover the extent of her own brutality. Tir fights to earn and maintain his place in a strange pack where unknown outsiders are mistrusted-for good reasons-and Palva struggles to sort through the threads and knots of resurrected old crimes that threaten to strangle everything she knows. But amidst all the fear and chaos, one thing is clear to all sides: self-preservation may drive some creatures to do terrible things, but most will stop at nothing to protect those that they love.