It's good to get away from the joys of motherhood once in a while. So when the Perloran government call upon Bernice Summerfield to recover a state treasure, she readily obliges.
Trouble is, the previous Perloran government traded the artefact away to the Galyari, and to the Galyari, a deal is a deal. So when Benny arrives on the Clutch to ask if the Perlorans can have their Bone back, she soon realises she has her work cut out for her.
Work that's complicated significantly by a frightened young Galyari who latches onto her, as if to prove that when it comes to the joys of motherhood, there is no escape.
And the growing pains of this particular youngster are set to prove very painful indeed.