West Virginia, 1895.
A deadly dry spell has left the earth parched and souls desperate. Crops are
failing. Cities are starving. A missing newspaper man doesn’t account for much
in times so terrible, except to the twelve-year-old son he left behind. When
Elliot Sweeney discovers the search for his father has been called off, he
boards a train alone to find him.
His quest leads Elliot into the depths of an abandoned mine, with a peculiar
pocket watch, a blind burro, and a gutsy girl at his side. He discovers a world
he never dreamed of, even in his worst nightmares, and lands smack in the
middle of a war between two kingdoms. Monstrous insects, smiling villains, and
dark riddles are everywhere. Deciding who to trust may prove to be his greatest
challenge, while the fate of the world above hangs on Elliot's choice.