Gael Maddoc is the child of struggling peasant crofters, the guardians of the Holywell.  She leaps at the chance of a better life when she is offered  training as a kedran, a mounted solider. After a simple assignment as a travelling guard goes disastrously wrong, she seeks aid from the Shee to rescue her charges. But the Shee - the dwindling, long-lived Fair Folk - recruit her for their own purposes. Her nascent magical talents and her resourceful survival prove her to be the Wanderer, a legendary figure for whom they have been waiting.