Meshiska gave birth to five cubs on the night before the full moon. Outside the den a storm was lashing the spruce trees. The sky and the land became part of each other, a scatterwind night swirling with fragments of black and white. Snow became darkness and darkness snow, and any creature lost between the two found a rock or a tree and lay down beside it, to wait until the world had formed again.
Into this bleak landscape Athaba is born, a young wolf destined for great adventure. Exiled from the pack for breaking its rigid codes of behaviour and showing too much imagination, Athaba becomes a raven-wolf, a lonely scavenger living on scraps and his wits.
Survival in the icy wastes is precarious without the protection of the pack. But adversity breeds an alliance with a hunter who has lost his way and teeters at the brink of starvation. If they are both to survive, the man must learn the way of the wolf.