Children everywhere will love this adventurous fantasy of Jorie and Rufus, two orphans from very different walks of life, who meet by chance, find a mystic book with four magical Druidic words that provide the key to an astonishing adventure that will plunge them, quite (literally) into another world beneath the dark waters of the Tarn.
When MARJORIE WEAVER (Jorie), a spunky spirited redheaded nine-year-old, goes to live with a rather frosty maiden aunt, she forms an unlikely bond with young RUFUS, a lonely and insecure boy who lives with his crusty old grandfather, and is little understood. Both children are orphans and, although very different, they forge a friendship.
Upon discovering an ancient book hidden beneath the floorboards of her aunt’s old house, the children discover four strange Druidic words, which turn out to be the key that unlocks the secret to a mysterious land beneath the waters of the Tarn. Hungry for adventure and escape from rather humdrum existences, Jorie and Rufus take the plunge, quite literally, and find themselves in a legendary land riddled with danger and enchantment.
In this mysterious place, they discover their quest is to find the three Stones of Maalog, reunite them, and return them to their rightful place in Cabrynthius. Jorie learns that, through ancestral inheritance, she is the prophesied Atir, or Chosen One, and that she, and she alone must gather the Stones. The mission is neither easy nor safe. Even with the help of the noble GROOTMONYA, the all-wise wizard and sage, the journey is peppered with peril and plots.
Jorie and Rufus soon learn that the sinister LORD FODOMALK (the evil ruler of the shadowy side of the land) will stop at nothing to get his claws on the Stones and thus restore himself to his former lost power. Although his power is limited, he is able to morph into a terrifying black dragon who patrols the night skies looking for opportunities.
Other sinister threats include the Daggadi butterfly, a deadly poisonous creature used as a weapon to try to destroy the children, the unscrupulous PROFESSOR GRIMES SCHRINCH, who followed the children to the Land Below the Tarn, convinced of the existence of boundless treasure, the tragic ANWYN (Lord Fodomalk’s lovely and loyal daughter), and GREDDAN, a turncoat who believes that he loves Anwyn and wishes to please Lord Fodomalk.
Now add a host of nightmarish creatures out to thwart the children’s plans, along with a number of helpful creatures with strange appearances and habits.
Young Rufus learns about confidence and trust, as he helps Jorie on this mission, and Jorie must rely on her wits and courage to win the day — she must protect the Stones from the forces who come after her, and she must try to save Rufus when tragedy strikes unexpectedly. She must scale a huge waterfall to find Doonan village (where one of the Stones resides in the Cave of Fire). She must cross a dangerous lake pursued by her enemies, relying on her own gut instincts. And, as the Atir, she must learn to use the Stones’ power to her advantage. Can she do these things? All by herself?
Can she emerge victorious after some heart-stopping adventures and a showdown with Lord Fodomalk? Do the villains learn they are no match for this little girl? How can Rufus recover from the deadly bite of the Daggadi butterfly? What can the Great Grootmonya do to help the children? And what about the baby dragon named Chook, with whom Rufus falls quite in love?
In the end, the children emerge victorious, in spite of a journey peppered with plots and perils. Both of them learn valuable lessons about loyalty, bravery, and friendship, and the things that are most important. The Stones of Maalog are returned to the wizard’s care, and Cabrynthius is safe from Fodomalk’s wicked plans. The children return to their homes and their guardians, with a friendship forged of steel.