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A murderous plot by a magical cabal. Three orphan siblings. One reluctant 12-year-old hero.
Jack doesn't know his parents were murdered, his grandma is stuck in 1879, and his aunts plan to rule the world. Then he touches a golden telescope revealing his magical powers and life changes forever.
Twelve-year-old Jack Mac Paidin's life is miserable. His parents are dead, and he's stuck with his heartless aunt and uncle, who make him live in the cold, dank basement. Then his life takes a crazy turn when he touches a golden telescope that reveals he has magical abilities.
The moment his fingers grasped the telescope, a burning sensation shot, like a lightning-bolt, up his arm, filling his head with a blaze of light that electrified his brain, blinding him to the world around him. Suddenly, in his mind's eye, he was looking out across a massive expanse of midnight blue water, salt-air filling his nostrils, his feet steady, but unfamiliar, as the slippery surface on which he stood rocked violently back and forth with the movement of waves. Looking down to his hands he could see the telescope grasped in both of them, but to his surprise, those weren't his hands he was gazing at. They were much larger than his own, and older, with hair on the knuckles, and a gold ring with a big, black stone displayed prominently on the ring finger of the right hand.
Jack learns that he comes from a long line of magic workers who want to use his powers for their nefarious purposes. A mysterious visitor rescues him using a magic hat and takes him to his ancestral home in Dublin, Ireland. Though Jack's life at Mac Paidin Manor is much better than living in the basement, things are far from perfect. There is a dangerous organization called The Dark Cabal, and Jack learns it is responsible for killing his parents and separating him from his brother and sister. Confronting them will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.
"You might as well know the truth of the matter…" Inez paused, and her eyes searched the walls of books as if drawing her words from them. "It was no accident that killed your son and his wife," she said, and a cold, calculated expression spread across her ashen face, blue-green veins now visible through the crepe-thin skin at her temples. "We arranged the whole thing!" A silence quieter than death filled the room. Even the fireplace seemed void of warmth as Inez's icy, aqua-blue eyes met those of her father.
After years of trauma-related asthma attacks and life as a number-loving nerd, Jack finally feels like his life has meaning. Even though he is bewildered to discover that there is a world of magic he knows nothing about, Jack learns that he is special. He is the only person who can help find his Grandma Lydia trapped in the past and solve the mystery surrounding his parent's death.
Jack nodded and steadied himself before reaching out and taking hold of the telescope. Her face was immediately in front of his; dark, abundant hair flowing over both shoulders. She had smooth, pale skin with large green eyes like two almond-shaped emeralds. Her lips were a rich shade of crimson. Again, he could feel the rocking under his feet, but this time the setting was warm and dry. He seemed to be sitting at a large desk. Sunlight was pouring through a small porthole window on the wall to his left. She was leaning forward, both hands on the surface, and this time she was speaking directly to him: "Jack! You are in terrible danger! You must get away—quickly! I need your help! Help me, Jack!"
This first book in the series by author Tracy Partridge-Johnson portrays an unforgettable story full of relatable characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details. It sets the stage for many incredible adventures to come.