In the West African village of Lai, red-haired Gbessa is cursed with immortality at birth. On a plantation in Virginia, June Dey struggles to hide his extraordinary strength from the brutal slaveowners. High in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica, Norman Aragon discovers he can fade from sight at will.
Cast out, forced to flee, sent away, they are drawn together in the tumult between settlers, Vai tribespeople and slavers, becoming entwined with the story of a new nation, Liberia. But it is Gbessa, torn between two worlds, two loves, and two selves, who will ultimately unite them in this fierce and spectacular tale of magic and resistance.