Kern has been on the run for years, ever since he knew he was a werewolf. As the story starts, he’s being pursued by a harper who’s able to conjure a fearsome beast to come after Kern. He’s chased to the edge of a cliff, and falls into the river below. The river folk find him, and get him to an inn, where Ainsy, the innkeeper, brings him back to health. He and Ainsy fall in love – here seems to be a place where he can find a family. But soon the harper comes to this part of the valley, and Kern may be in danger of losing all that he’s come to love.
What struck me most about this book was how quick it was. It’s published in 1988, and is standalone. (It’s pure fantasy, not like de Lint’s Newford books.) It strikes me how much fantasy seems to have pivoted to long, involved series lately. I read this book in two nights, and the action takes place in no more than about a month. It was nice to have a quick story to run through, without then having to track down ten more books to finish things off. Don’t get me wrong – I love the ten book series as well, but it’s nice to get these standalone stories in the mix as well.