Anna Pendress is the child of colonists on a world where her ancestors crash-landed centuries before. A world where seasons last over six standard months, including the bitterly cold winters. Lucas Bradford is a young Explorer in the Galactic Service, specializing in xenobotany assigned to explore that world
Lucas is fascinated by the plant life adapted to survive on this world and he befriends Anna to help him with his work. Not willing to give information away freely, Anna trades him knowledge for knowledge. She demands answers to questions that none of her fellow colonists have been able to answer. They exchange skills and forge a friendship that lasts over years.
The Explorers are looking for planets able to hold the excess population of the inner planets and the colonists need to regain lost technology quickly to hold what they have. Together, Anna and Lucas must make decisions that will not only affect themselves, but every colonist on her planet.
Anna was eight when she first met the trickster god. Anna was out gathering dandy greens and blackberries from around the settlement, less to provide food and more to stop her endless series of questions. She'd read everything she could understand, and more than a little she couldn't, from the settlement Archive. It wasn't enough. She knew the basic facts: her ancestors had settled this world over five hundred years ago. There had been some type of crash or early accident, the details of which were never recorded, and they had lost most of the technology that had gotten them here.
Anna had already decided she wanted that knowledge back.
There had been rumors of gods ever since they landed, but no one had ever really seen one. Strange things happened out in the wild and left no trace of their passing. People disappeared or heard strange voices in the night. So it didn't come as a complete surprise when a stranger stepped up to her while she fought her way out of a briar patch with her basket of blackberries.
She could tell immediately he wasn't from any of the neighboring settlements, he was something else. Shining armor, the color of polished brass, covered him from neck to toe. Whorls and lines were raised along the surface, thicker across the chest, back, and groin. His helmet, a sealed affair that would cover his head completely if he wore it, dangled from one hand as he watched her struggle free.
The last briar pulled loose from her shirt, she turned her full attention to the vision.