Fifteen year old Willem lives in hiding in a small Belgian village on the edge of the great Sonian Forest. Willem and his mother have been living in secret for most of his life, since his father, a famous magician, fell out of favour with the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.
It is a world not much different from our own, in which small 'saurs' are a part of everyday life. Some are farmed, some are pets, others, more dangerous are avoided. There are rumours of even greater 'saurs' roaming the uncharted islands of the Americas.
When a girl from the village is killed, it becomes obvious that there are hidden terrors in the forest and that they are connected with Napoleon's plans to conquer Europe.
But Willem has a secret that could interfere with the emperor's plans and Napoléon will stop at nothing to find him.
War is coming, and young Willem is no longer safe, for Gaillemarde is just a stone's throw from the fields of Waterloo -- fields which will soon run red with blood.