Henry Atwood is still in the sixth form of Medwardine school. He is intrigued by new arrival, Rudi Burlesdon, red-headed, sullen and alienated. Henry likes to help, but once again gets way out of his depth, for in Rothenia a new spirit is rising and Rudi is not the boy he appears to be.
Vicar’s son, Henry Robert Atwood, has been landed in a public school in Shropshire and hates every moment of it, especially compulsory sports. But he attracts the attention of two boys, who between them will change his life for ever. One, Ed Cornish, is every gay boy’s dream. The other - another vicar’s son, Jehoiadah, handsome, seductive and, unfortunately, dead - is every boy’s nightmare.
Nathan Underwood is an upper middle class boy who loves gardening, it’s his life’s work, but in the flower beds of Matt and Andy’s Highgate home, he encounters Justin Macavoy, street kid and petty criminal on day release. The shock of it means that neither boy will be the same ever again.
Will Vincent, schoolteacher, exits the closet and finds it leads him to very strange places, for almost out of the door he encounters the beautiful Oskar, cynic and porn star, who is not at all what he seems.
Ruprecht von Aalst, noble dilettante, diplomat and scholar, blunders into a political minefield: but is it an accident or someone else's design? More and more he comes to believe he's a prisoner of the past he studies, and that forces from his world's own lost history are breaking through into the present to steer it into a new future, but for whose benefit?