Feather and her brother, Karsh, are supposed to be picking berries for the village, but Karsh goes down into the cellar of the old outpost to look for treasures. As Feather begs him to come back up, she is kidnapped by Blens, a wandering tribe that raids villages, killing and stealing to get what they need.
When Karsh comes out of the cellar, he is horrified to see the Blens carrying Feather away. He runs back to his village, but the elders decide that going after Feather now would only make the Blens aware of their village. How many of their people should die to save one? Karsh understands, but cannot let Feather go. He vows to find her someday.
Feather learns how to survive as a slave to the Blens despite their brutal nature. Thankfully, a boy named Tag is kind to her and becomes a friend. Feather makes known her gift of fletching, adding feathers to arrows. If she can be useful to the Blens, perhaps they will not risk her life with beatings. While Feather travels with the Blens, she and Tag make plans to escape, waiting for the right moment when broken things are mended and lost things are found.