This novel parallels stories from two teenage boys, one from the present day (Noah) and one from 1865 (Blaze). Both boys have the same strange power: the ability to draw events before they have happened.
Noah is trying to make a new life after moving to the village of Sible Hedingham. Starting a new school is always difficult, and even more so for Noah who has to try and hide his compulsion to draw, and the impact of his frightening revelations of the future. He finds a friend in Beth, and they become close, but tensions from a group of class mates at school soon cause difficulties.
Back in Victorian times, Blaze has been left to fend for himself after the death of his mother in the workhouse. Despite having helped many of them with healing potions and remedies, the villagers have turned on Blaze’s mother, and brutally punish her for being a so-called witch. Now Blaze is in hiding, using his knowledge of herbal medicine and his gift for foretelling the future to protect himself.
The two stories are told in alternating chapters, and a school trip to the old Victorian workhouse links the stories from present and past, providing an exciting climax to the story.
In the author’s note, Rhian Ivory reveals that she randomly chose the name Sible Hedingham for the village where Blaze lives, but then subsequently discovered that it was the site of the last recorded ‘swimming’ of a suspected witch in 1863. This is a fascinating (and spooky!) coincidence that just goes to show that storytelling and history are inextricably interwoven.