Despite being smart, athletic, and likeable, fourteen-year-old Cael Brand prefers to move quietly through junior high in the shadows. But when his mother and only living parent, famed archeologist Dr. Eryn Brand, succumbs to a sudden and unexplainable illness, the teenager can't avoid getting involved. To save his mother, Cael will need to follow a series of clues that unlock a long-hidden family secret. There are things Cael never knew about his mom, and the answers are not to be found on Earth. His search for the truth leads to Palatore - a mysterious world where everyday, ordinary words have amazing power to heal or destroy. To survive the journey and return with a cure, Cael will need to step from the shadows and with the help of new friends take a stand against an age-old enemy bent on his family's destruction.