Mouse works in the scullery at Dunston Manor, peeling onions, stirring the pots, sweeping the floors, and doing her best not to get into trouble with the fractious cook. Alone at night in the dark corner she calls home, she wishes for something wondrous to happen and dreams of a better life. But what chance does she have, a girl born with nothing, not even a proper name? Then Mouse sees a puppet play and knows at once what she must do. Somehow she must learn to make the puppets dance. Somehow she must become the puppeteer's apprentice. But the puppeteer is harboring some uncomfortable secrets, and Mouse doesn't know whether she has the courage it takes to fulfill her dreams. How Mouse finds her place in the world, and a very special name, is the heart of this thoroughly absorbing and remarkable story set in medieval England.