Keara wants to be good, tries to give her rebellion over to her darkbeast Caw, to let him take her fault into himself. But she can't let it go, can't kill Caw on her twelfth birthday as she becomes a woman, can't stay in the village where she's broken custom and her mother's heart.
It was the tales spun by the Travelers, performed on the village green just before her nameday, stories of the gods and goddesses which entranced Keara and made her twist around Mother's orders to stay home. Now her world is bigger than Silver Hollow, and her life there will be empty when the troupe leaves.
No one else in her village has ever defied the gods and the law by refusing to sacrifice the darkbeast which contained all their sins and faults of childhood. Keara cannot imagine losing that magical connection of mind and heart which has filled her whole being, so they run away, girl and raven, trying to hide from the Inquisitors.
Catching up with the Travelers, Keara finds a cautious welcome when she shows them an error in their play about the goddess Nuntia. For these plays teach and retell the legends of the Twelve, and if the villagers hear a fact told wrong, they'll never again trust this company of Travelers for the truth - and the Primate himself could order the company disbanded or worse.
Holy plays about the Twelve gods and goddesses, common plays about funny everyday things - the Travelers of Taggart's troupe will soon decide which one to perform before the Primate and priests at the great festival three months hence. And Keara means to be with them when they do.
Can she and Caw avoid the Inquisitors while traveling and performing?
Why is every other twelve-year-old so eager to sever the magical bond with their darkbeast?
Can Keara learn the Travelers' ways quickly enough to become a troupe member?
It's a dangerous path that Keara has chosen for herself and Caw, a treacherous way that Taggart and his troupe choose as they prepare for the festival in the land of Duodecia where the the gods and goddesses rule over all, disregarding love.
Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA – blogging young adult books beyond the bestsellers at http://BooksYALove.com