Always fascinated by magic, 11-year-old Charlie Wainwright buys a book of wizardry from the village hall car boot sale. It is an old book, written hundreds of years before he was even born and as soon as he takes the volume home he sets out to discover if the spells it contains really do work.
They do, his cat can bark, his dog can meow and Charlie is having great fun; but when he has a visit from the book's author, the wizard - Argetlám, will his life ever be the same again? For someone, in the goblin and witch-infested Darklands of the Cumbrian Underworld, is watching him from afar. Watching him through evil and envious eyes. That someone is the wicked Witch Queen - Nemetona; the most beautiful of witches but by far the most evil. Nemetona will stop at nothing to get her hands on Charlie's book of spells and with this in mind dispatches a goblin familiar to the Overland (where humans live) to steal it.
Caught by the goblin with the forbidden book, Charlie's cousin, Joanne, is kidnapped and spirited away into the terrifying dimension of the Darklands. Now, Charlie and the wizard must go after her. Firstly, to rescue Joanne, afterwards to retrieve the precious book of spells. It is now that Charlie's adventures really begin, as along with the wizard and his very peculiar friends, they battle goblins, dragons and witches as they continue their quest to find the lost works of the arch wizard - Argetlám.