Clementine has just turned sixteen and Mother Fleur, the housemistress, is preparing her for her Lucky Night, the night she will finally become a woman. She and her sister Aster have lived with Mother Fleur for 10 years since her parents had to sell the girls or let them starve to death. Since Aster was older than Clementine, she had already had her Lucky Night. Aster tells her nothing about the night except to NOT drink the Sweet Thistle (a type of narcotic) that Mother Fleur would give her and to think about a song while she entertained the brag that had paid a big price for her.
No one tells her what she is expected to do or what the brag will do, just that she is to make him happy. Nothing goes as it should and her brag lies dead on the floor. The only thing she can do is to get someone to help her and then to run as far as she can before the raveners, creatures that can get into ones mind and destroy it, get her. Aster comes to her aid, along with three other good luck girls, Tansy, Mallow and Violet. Their escape is frantic and often violent. A young tracker finds them and actually helps them instead of turning them in as he should.
This is a fast-paced story set in a fanciful, yet very realistic world that will keep the reader turning pages as fast as possible. Davis has taken on a very disturbing social situation, sex slave trafficking, in a thoughtful and discrete manner. There are some implied sexual scenes and some very violent scenes of beatings and murder. I definitely recommend this book for high school readers.