Life is busy in a big European city in the late 1930s, where Dromal, the head of his tribe, runs a wide range of business activities that aren’t always above board. It is not only his tribe who benefits from his operations, but also many leading citizens of the city. Dromal’s tribe lives in an old, abandoned warehouse area on the outskirts of the city. His son Girin has begun to live in a wrecked car behind the bus station after having taken the outspoken widow, Fudurni, as his wife, despite the lack of acceptance by his community. The main characters of the novel are the people of Dromal’s tribe, his daughter Ginarel and Kastalo, an orphan pickpocket raised on the streets. The poor and rootless Kastalo is not good enough to be a fiancé for the Gypsy princess Ginarel. Nonetheless, Kastalo has fallen for the girl. Preparations are underway for the wedding of Ginarel and Bustan. Bustan is the son of the highly regarded blacksmith Joralo. Along with Bustan, Girin is given the responsibility to watch over his sister and to protect her from trouble and shame. When Kastalo’s infatuation is noticed, the boys come up with a way to benefit from the pickpocket. When the Gypsies become the targets of the suffering caused by the emerging Nazi regime and its sadism, the prevailing relations of power within the tribe are put to a test. Emotions smoulder under the surface, people take measures as the Gypsies flee the ominous signs. The tribe’s long and troubled journey makes a man out of Kastalo; the former selfish thief grows into a young, responsible, respectful and unfailing member of the tribe. The love Ginarel cherishes for Kastalo is evident, but can it ever be fulfilled?