A Heroka story.
Lilith Hoyl is a Heroka of the bird totem—a shapeshifter who hates the humans who killed her mate and hunt her kind. But when she meets a young girl awaiting a critical operation, their mutual love for birds brings joy back into both their lives.
“ One expects magic with this set-up, and magic does, indeed, follow, but pain cannot be forever vanquished, for either the girl or the Hoyl. The story charms as well as pains. In other hands, it would be mawkish, but Smith avoids all the pitfalls and gives us something bittersweet instead.” —Fantasy Literature