So many deadly mistakes and the lies to cover them… Is there more to fear if faith be bold and the truth be told?
Her perspective: Laïsha sees the chance and claims her freedom, fleeing alone down a cold Russian river. Her escape is thwarted, but perhaps she can manipulate Kolyek, a naïve, nearsighted, and bumbling healer deep in the woods of ancient Ukraine, to shield her until she finds another way home. But the forest rings with the howls of wolves. Wait… no, not wolves: holy men from Greece. They are headed in the right direction. Will they take a young woman along or does the healer have to come too?
His perspective: Kolyek, a 9th-century Russian peasant fancying himself a physician, crosses the steppe together with a fugitive woman and two Greek holy men in pursuit of an elusive rendezvous. While Kolyek awakens to the Greeks’ advanced culture, becomes an unwitting hero in his near-fatal defiance of a nomadic chieftain, and decides whether he is a man to whom things happen or a man who makes things happen, the holy men discover in the humble peasant’s cottage the rudiments of what is now the Cyrillic alphabet.