Lan's simple life with his adopted grandmother, Boosha, is shattered in an instant as she sends him running into the Forest of Dandaka to escape The Gatherers, a group of child abductors. Sent by the evil overlord, Draegan, they are on a mission to capture all Crystallines, the children with distinctive blue eyes and special gifts. But why are they after him? Lan's eyes are just a normal brown. In fact, other than being an orphan, everything about him is normal and he wants to stay that way. Now he must make his way through the vast Forest using just a strange Map Compass, a few tools and his own skills to survive. Before he can return he must deliver the 3 Keys and the Crystal Cube called Empowerment to a village on the other side of the forest. The only problem is that Lan doesn't have the 3 Keys. Thinking only of going as fast as he can and returning to his beloved Boosha, Lan tries to cheat the Map Compass only to learn that sometimes the shortest route is the one that appears longer. Before his journey is over, Lan must master the secrets of the trees, meet a strange hermit who knows his past and discover his gifts as a leader. Will he ever return to Boosha?
Set in a post apocalyptic world, this YA Coming of Age fantasy explores the question "What would the world look like if the poles had flipped in 2012?"
“A first-rate series opener that promises an engrossing and epic dystopian tale.” –Kirkus Review