Volume 3 of the Corlay sequence.
The first coming was the Man:
The second was Fire to burn Him;
The third was water to drown the Fire;
The fourth is the Bird of Dawning.
Twenty years have passed since the martyrdom of the Boy-piper at York, twenty years in which his legacy, the movement of Kinship, has challenged the tyranny of the Church Militant in Britain's seven island kingdoms.
Now his namesake, Tom, bearing the Boy's own pipes and perhaps himself imbued with the spirit of the White Bird, is wandering Europe in company with the girl, Witchet. But disaster overtakes them and Tom, in a furry of vengeance, breaks his vow of Kinship.
A terrible path lies before him, one that transcends his own world. As he travels it, Tom must come to understand the true nature of the wild White Bird, of The Bride of Time and her Child, and of the Song the Star Born sang.
Richard Cowper (1926-2002) was the pseudonym of John Middleton Murry Jr, a British SF author.