One day while working at the zoo, Jason Walker fell into the mouth of a hippo and is expelled into the mysterious land of Lyrian.
While exploring Lyrian, Jason stumbles upon a secret book in a huge library. In the book, Jason discovers that there is a six-syllable word that has the power to destroy the evil emperor, Maldor.  Unfortunately, the book only gives him one of the sylllables.  Jason's quest is to find the rest of the syllables.  On his quest he meets Rachelwho is a Beyonder like him. A Beyonder is someone who is clearly not from the land of Lyrian.They become friends and set out to find the rest of the syllables together.  Along the way, they meet many of Maldor's evil assistants.  One of them is Ferrin, who is a spy working for Maldor to see what Jason and Rachel are up to.Jason and Rachel find themselves in many treacherous and challenging situations. They run across a lake that seems to be made of pancake batter! They eat flowers that make them smell dead so predators will thrown off their trail. After finally finding the last syllable, Jason goes to confront Maldor. When Jason says the word it does not work and Jason is taken to jail. While in the jail a deadly serpent attacks him and he becomes unconscious. When he wakes up he is interrogated by one of Maldor's minions and threatened with torture. Ferrin helps Jason escape from jail and then tries to drownJason.  After a vicious battle, Ferrin escapes and Jason vows to find Ferrin and defeat him, once and for all.  The book's conclusion does not end the story but rather sets the scene for the sequel.