The story of Etin Burntfen, like his character, at first appears to be simple. His life has been influenced primarily by his family and by the Oxfordshire countryside. Etin begins his narrative three generations earlier, where the wild nature and yearning desires which drive his great-grandparents’ destinies will echo through his own life and fate. Raised by a rigorous Protestant mother and an amiable adventurer of a father, his childhood is filled with moments of youthful play, work, discovery, and combat, all set against the fields and riversides of pastoral Oxford. When a distant uncle appears with a dark-skinned, bewitching girl in tow, Etin and his siblings find their family dynamics permanently changed. It is the dangerous gypsy-born cousin Azalea who, in adulthood, will set Etin and his brother against each other, and who will be directly responsible for two deaths.