Young scientist Allan Braith is recruited by methane breathing aliens to check on a planet that has been seeded with living material brought from Earth. Allan is accompanied by Midnight, a small living spaceship. Midnight is only a few weeks old but has had his anaerobic status modified so he can assist Allan in what should merely be a scouting mission. Almost from the minute the pair arrive they inadvertently set in train forces that profoundly threaten the planet's human population. The story that follows is one of love, loss, humour, intrigue, superstition and the uncovering of profound mysteries.
To some local people, red-haired Allan is a demon and Midnight, the great evil from beyond the stars. These strongly held beliefs greatly hamper attempts to stop a unique civilisation from heading the way of utter extinction.
Finally it is Choel, a young woman rescued by Allan and Midnight, who becomes the Queen of the West Wind and brings unexpected life to the ashes of a long dead fire.