New York. 1938. Living in the quiet apartment of his overprotective grandfather, fourteen-year-old Tommy Black knows little about a world on the brink of war. But when he and his grandfather are attacked by ominous shadow creatures, Tommy learns not just about the trouble in Europe, but that magic exists, his grandfather is a great Archmage, and he is heir to his grandfather’s magical staff–a staff he has no idea how to control.
With his grandfather captured, Tommy barely escapes with the magic staff. Desperately trying to figure out to use the staff, Tommy and family friend Mister Ali fight golems, shadow creatures, magicians, and Djinn on their way to the world’s center of magic–the great Citadel of London. But it’s when escaping on an enchanted train that Tommy faces his biggest challenge: The beautiful, wild young magician Naomi, whose talent with magic is only rivaled by her ability to insult Tommy in creative ways.
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