On the eve of his graduation from New Salem High, Thomas Scargen awakens from an all-too-real nightmare depicting his father’s mysterious disappearance. Before the boy can regain his composure and slack back into his familiar world of artifs and hologames, Thomas is torn away from his home and hastily ushered into a secret world of magic. He quickly begins to discover his magical potential and grasp his manifesting abilities, but he lacks perhaps the most important component: control. Yareli Chula, Spirit Summoner and member of The Council of Mages, has been dispatched to recover the boy and bring him to The Council. There he can find the discipline he needs and the answers he seeks, but getting him there alive will be anything but easy. Yareli is not the only one searching for the Scargen boy. Along his journey, Thomas will ride atop a teleport dragon, duel a High Demon of the Depths, run with the Lions of Sirati, outfox a spirit ghost, race a vampire, and quote Shakespeare with a whiskey-swilling werewolf—all in the hope of discovering the truth about his father. This quest will be fraught with darkness and a malevolence far more unyielding than anything Thomas has come across in his fantasy books. Armed with his newly realized powers and his unlikely companions, Thomas Scargen will have to face this pervasive evil without being entirely consumed by The Shadow of the Gauntlet.