He lurks beside the forest road, a charming, well-armed young murderer, not altogether human. She draws near, a contrary shepherdess fleeing an unwanted marriage. When he overhears her prayer for help, whispered to the Dread Hammer, he decides to grant it — and love takes him by surprise. But love soon proves a greater challenge than murder. An enthralling, dark tale of love, war, murder, marriage, and fate, by the award-winning author of The Bohr Maker and Goddesses & Other Stories.