Shipwrecked onto the tropical island of Eridor with his hamster Skoodle, 14-year-old Alex Weston unwittingly crosses the barrier into a world of enchantment. He finds that Skoodle is funny, opinionated, a reluctant hero, intermittently brave and regularly takes advice from his dead uncle.


Alex possesses no magic, so is armed only with bravery, loyalty, sheer cussedness and wit as he fights save his life and his friends. He must also wrestle with the suspicion that a few ounces of added rodent doesn't make him the strongest fighting unit on the island.


On his quest, Alex escapes murderous crocodiles, gets engulfed by a man-eating mud swamp, battles with a wizard-lizard and goblins, forges through a blizzard getting to a mountain with a living granite brain and wrestles with cannibalistic snakes. But all of this feels like only a warm-up when he meets his final challenge.


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