The town of Gentry has a strange history and present. The town suffers none of the problems of their neighbors, they flourish and thrive. Yet, no one is really happy in Gentry. And that's mostly because of the replacements.
Every home wards against their babies being replaced. Every seven years innocent blood must be spilt by the Lady to continue her favor towards Gentry. It's ignored by everyone who can. Especially since the replacements don't last very long.
But then we have Mackie. Mackie is also a replacement--but a rare one. He survived when almost none of the others do. He's allergic to iron and certain foods. Everyone knows he's different, but they choose to ignore it or avoid him completely.
Then Tate, one of Mackie's classmates, has a sister who dies. And while everyone in town is mourning, Tate is annoyed. And she wants Mackie's help in finding out where her sister really is. While Mackie has more concerns--he may be dying. And help for both things can only come from one source.
A dark story with a few bright spots. Not something you want to read if you have young children, definitely. Mackie's life is a tangled mess that takes a while to pull apart. I enjoyed the story, even though I wondered if I should be buying iron to hang over my door...