The cosmic otherworld meets the ancient underworld when a flying saucer crashes--drawn to its destruction?--on the Mawrrhyn, a haunted mountain in deepest, darkest Wales. The lone survivor, beautiful young star lord Erlich, turns up, bloodied by British-Army bullets (they're out to capture and conceal him) at the nearby ramshackle farmstead of old Hywel Thomas, where his daughter Enid has taken refuge--with her 17-year-old son Rhys and his slightly older sister Gwyneth--after leaving her husband. As she will explain it, ""it is better than nowhere."" Rhys takes to the hard, lonely life, Gwyneth despises it, but the two agree that Erlich must not be given up, and Enid, struck by his strangeness too, goes along--to the point of deceiving Captain Willoughby-Smyth, the highly efficient but ""decent and caring"" officer-in-charge, who obviously admires her. And even he, finally confronted with Erlich, recognizes his difference. So Rhys, his elderly grandfather, and the wounded Erlich head up across the Mawrrhyn, full knowing the price ""she"" will exact: Hywel Thomas dies, Erlich is borne off, Rhys falls into a deep sleep--to revive only after the others have departed and died, a harsh discovery Erlich assuages by returning for him. Typically and insidiously somber, but even more dumb-struck than most at the extraterrestrial and subterranean Powers that may be.