Noni lives in a world where everyone, including infants, can cast magical spells. Everyone, that is, but Noni herself. But she alone can read; she has what her late mother called the ‘Old Knowing’, and this ability is a secret Noni must keep from everyone, including her best friend, Twig.
When magicians from an enemy country steal everyone’s Magic, Noni knows that she is the only one who can help save them. She must use the ‘Old Knowing’ to find the Book of Spells. Only the Book will enable her countrymen to re-learn Magic and have a fighting chance. Meanwhile, dragons have escaped from the ‘Hold’ and are burning dwellings and eating anything that moves. The enemy mages have learned of the Book of Spells and are also searching for it. Noni, with Twig at her side, must use her wits and whatever luck that crosses her path to reach the Book before it’s too late.