All life is sorrowful, but very, very sweet.
Ice apples and firelight.
Wolves, darkness and the road to the Ghost World.
Under a freezing arctic sky, a wolf carries a dying baby to a village door.
The villagers adopt him, naming him Vulchanok, 'Little Wolf.'
He grows to be a happy child but, by night, the wolf enters his dreams. She leads him to the Ghost World and makes him a shaman. The villagers begin to fear him.
Vulchanok becomes a lonely man. By night he looks for visions in a spinning ice-apple. He sees a beautiful, red-headed girl who is also alone. Taking up his goshawk skin, he flies to her window.
Hundreds of miles away, the penniless orphans, Glev and Kristiana, live in the Czar's palace. Every day Glev searches for a nobleman to marry his sister and make them both rich while Kristiana remains alone in their room. A noblewoman must not be seen in public.
Kristiana comes to love Vulchanok but to be with him she must shame and dishonour both herself and her brother. She must learn to work, though she has never lifted anything heavier than the page of a book.
Can the love between Kristiana and Vulchanok survive Glev's anger and Vulchanok's enemies?