Running away seemed like a good idea at the time. Bo and Prosper's mother had told them all kinds of wonderful things about Venice, Italy. So when she dies, they think it's a pretty good idea to run away from Hamburg, Germany to Venice. After a difficult journey, they find a place with other homeless children who live in an abandoned theater. Their leader is the charming, slightly mysterious Scipio, known as the Thief Lord. Like Robin Hood, Scipio robs the rich to provide his poor friends with food and necessities. Scipio usually takes jewels, but he's hired to steal a most unusual item for a pawnbroker's wealthy client: a broken wooden wing. The wing is part of a magical carousel that has the power to change children into adults, and adults into children. During this adventure, secrets about the characters and their fantastic world are revealed.