When vicious, dog-headed gnolls kidnap everyone living in the small village of Hesiod, only Evin and his fighter friend Jorick manage to escape. With help from an ancient guidebook of magical beasts called A Practical Guide to Monsters, the two boys and a new friend--elf wizard Betilivatis--must trek through ancient ruins and face one menacing monster after another in order save their families.
But Evin soon realizes that not everything is as it seems. Someone--or something--has taken leadership of the gnolls and has dangerous plans for the kidnapped villagers. Betilivatis often disappears mysteriously and has strange conversations with someone only she can see. And Evin is having unusual dreams of a place he's never been, a place that feels more and more real with each passing day.
The pace never falters in this page-turning adventure, as Evin, Jorick, and Betilivatis bravely battle gnolls, a chimera, an ormyrr, and a lich, and it ends with a shocking twist that will make readers want to start the story all over again.