This is the story of a young, tenth-century canon, Oceano, and his escape from Paris following a murder. On the advice of an elderly Irish monk, he sets out for the island of Skellig Michael, on the westernmost edge of Europe, in the hope of admission into the monastery there. And in the hope of finding a place of peace for his troubled soul. But he finds Skellig far from peaceful. The abbot has rejected his faith. The monks no longer sing or pray. The monastic order has disintegrated and former friends are friends no more. And a monk lies dead, struck down by the hand of one of his brethren.