Sitting atop Hathorne Hill, Danvers Asylum for the Insane towers above modern-day Danvers, Massachusetts. Abandoned and neglected for nearly two decades, the Gothic spires of the moldering old edifice both attract the morbid and repel the superstitious.|
But when November Atwood and her twin cousins, Jeff and wheelchair-bound Hawk, discover a strangely-marked wooden box, long-buried in the shadows of the asylum, they unwittingly set in motion events leading to the culmination of a diabolical pact signed in blood, by six church elders, more than three hundred years in the past--when Danvers was still Salem Village and witchcraft was a hanging offense.
Cryptic clues on an old vellum document, along with a curious gold coin, prompt the trio to venture into the tunnels beneath the asylum, where Jeff is struck by “elf-shot,” then abducted and replaced by a changeling.
After discovering the switch, November and Hawk are left with little choice but to go further into the tunnels in search of Jeff. With clues from the document and the aid of a gnome named Dynnis, the pair embark on a journey on the Eve of Hollantide, through the treacherous tunnels and deep into the Hill of Hathorne. There they encounter Hob, the keeper of The Room of Rings, and his great grandmother, Ambrosine, who informs November that she is the "one they have awaited for 305 years"—she is "The Prediction." Ambrosine escorts November and Hawk through The Rings, to 1701 Salem Village, where November meets Thomas Parris, the sixteen-year-old son of Samuel Parris--crafter of The Bargain.
Though they do not know it, November and Thomas are destined to forge a link across time that only love can sustain.
First however, she and Hawk must overcome both fear and physical challenge to free Jeff from the Elfin realm, beneath the Hill of Hathorne.
After which, The Prediction must confront Lord Astaroth, the embodiment of corruption itself, with whom she will wager her very soul in order to bring to an end The Bargain of Witches.