This book focusses on Ben Greenwood and his search for answers about his parents’ disappearance. Two years ago Ben came home and found the police rummaging through his house. Ever since then Ben and his best friend Charlie have to been searching for any clues. One day they find a mysterious letter to his parents that talks about them being in trouble. It also reveals a place called The Institute. Luckily Ben recognises the symbol at the top of the letter. Together he and Charlie travel to London and manage to sneak into the building with the strange symbol. There they find a giant lift which takes them thousands of metres below the earth where they find an ancient looking train station. But instead of trains, there are dragons that pull carriages.
They board the carriage and arrive at a medieval looking city. Together they follow the signs and arrive at The Institute. The moment they do they are captured and interrogated. The people want to know where Ben’s parents are and refer to them as traitors. Shocked, Ben and Charlie are rescued by a woman named Wren who runs the Spellsword Department of The Institute. She reveals that she worked with Ben’s parents and believes that they are innocent. Ben and Charlie make friends with Wren’s assistant, Natalie, who helps guide them through the strange new world.
This is a fast passed book, everything takes place in a matter of days. It has a unique take on magic where people use magic pistols like wands and live side by side with magical races. I loved the unique take on magic and was instantly enthralled with the great characters. I am eager to read the next in the series. I give it 5/5