Until Cloud is twelve years old, she is a neglected bear cub wandering the town ruled by King Rumble. Cloud's unexpected transformation into a human girl, with no memory of what came before, enrages Rumble, and she is forced to flee from his malevolent wizard. Her only hope of survival is a terrifying quest to free the spirits of her dead brothers. Cloud's journey will take her deep into spirit lands, where animals become people, people become monsters, and mortals are as easily trapped by their desires as by their fears. There she learns that her survival, her quest, and even the balance of the world depend upon whether she can reclaim her lost bear self.