Kate, Michael, and Emma have spent most of their young lives being passed around from one foul orphanage to another. However, Kate steadfastly claims that their parents love them and are coming back for them. When they are transferred to a new orphanage in the town of Cambridge Falls, they learn more about the fate of their parents and their own destiny.
In this new orphanage (where they are the only children), they learn from Stanilaus Pim that their parents are being held by a powerful magician known as the Dire Magnus. Kate, Michael, and Emma have been prophesied as the children to bring together the three magical Books of Beginning. The Dire Magnus wants the power from the books and holds their parents in an attempt to get the books.
In this first book of the series, the children learn about the presence of the magical world. They go on a dangerous adventure in search of The Emerald Atlas, the first Book of Beginning. Their adventures are fast-paced and reveal a much more complex story to be revealed in later books. This is a great series for families who enjoy magical stories with strong siblings and family ties. Also, Jim Dale does an excellent audio book reading.