Garth is the Giftmaster, the man with the closest connection to the magical being that rules their lives at the Carnival. Every time the Carnival chooses a new target for the Gift, Garth is thrust into their head, able to feel their every emotion. It's a vital role if they are to succeed in granting the Mark's deepest desire, but it's also demanding and draining. Despite this, Garth wouldn't give it up for anything – especially not love. When he meets Dr Madelaine Annandale, it seems like forming an attachment just for the off season wouldn't hurt, especially if she can help Simon, the young amnesia patient who has ended up living in Garth's house. It's not long term, and it's not serious.
But nothing is ever simple in the world of the Carnival, and Garth soon finds himself trying to protect the Carnival from Simon's vengeful father, while he learns some terrible truths about the Carnival he loves, and the woman who has stolen his heart.