In a time of war, a mysterious child appears at the monastery of the Order of the Chronicles of Sorrowing. Gentle Brother Edik finds the girl, Beatryce, curled in a stall, wracked with fever, coated in dirt and blood and holding fast to the ear of Answelica the recalcitrant goat. As the monk nurses Beatryce to health, he uncovers her dangerous secret – one that imperils them all.
And so it is that a girl with a head full of stories must venture into a dark wood in search of the castle of a king who wishes her dead. But should she lose her way, Beatryce knows that those who love her – a wild-eyed monk, a man who had once been king, a boy with a terrible sword and a goat with a head as hard as stone – will never give up searching for her. And to know this is to know everything.