Shax, the Demon Prince of Thieves, has reconciled himself to exile. He has a grand time careening around the galaxy as a high-end, intergalactic purloiner of pretties. Everything's going just fine, thank you very much. All right, fine, the anti-gravity cows are a bit problematic and some of his buyers are bad for his health, but he manages until he comes across an injured angel in a psychedelic alien jungle.
He only rescues the wing boy for his golden feathers, but what Shax doesn't know about angels could fill an intergalactic encyclopedia. Ness, since his full, angelic name is too much to deal with, is shockingly naïve and seems convinced that Shax and Verin have brought him aboard to torture him or perhaps eat him. Little by little, Shax begins to earn his trust in the quest to wheedle a golden feather or two from him until to Shax's dismay, the yearning after pretties becomes a different sort of yearning entirely.