Thirteen-year-old Kate is without her dad, lonely and depressed. Her family is broken and her world has lost its color and energy. One day, she is drawn by a crow into a land of uncommon beauty and love.
But Kate soon discovers this new land is under siege by the rebel Grod Vurmis, who is causing freak storms and environmental disasters. Vurmis is turning the inhabitants into shadows, looting the kingdom libraries, and changing the stories so the people will no longer remember who they are.
Kate's curiosity and courage lead her and three friends on a perilous quest to save the Kingdom of What Is. Traversing rivers, seas, and countryside, while avoiding the deceptions of Dreglings, they finally discover the royal palace in shambles. They join the paltry army of Prince Servan and go up against Grod Vurmis without weapons. Their quest comes to an unexpected and shocking end at the Great Gorge.