When he first sees Merrick, William thinks he's been dropped into a medieval horror story. Tall and gruff, dressed in a hooded robe that completely conceals his features, and riding a black mare, Merrick might as well be the Grim Reaper.
But appearances are deceiving. An uncannily skilled apothecary and healer, Merrick proves to be a generous host and a gentle teacher, and William soon finds himself surprisingly comfortable in his new surroundings. Yet troubling mysteries abound: Why does Merrick never show his face or hands? Why do his movements seem so young and sure beneath his robes? What lies within the cave behind the stone cottage?
Something unnatural is afoot. But most alarming by far is William's own reaction to his new master. For Merrick's strange charms are bewitching enough by day; but by night, in the darkness of the room and the bed they share, William finds himself entirely overwhelmed by desires he never imagined...