'Appealing to the imagination of readers aged 8 to 12, the story is set on Melbourne’s urban fringe where nature and city collide. It is here that Adam and Tom are persuaded by Adam’s older brother to climb the gigantic tree that grows in Edgars Valley.
'Unknowingly they cross the Gateway into the fourth dimension, ‘The World Without’, a beautiful land where the power of life is richer and greater than anything that exists in our world.
'However, a decade’s long conflict rages between the long suffering Marou and tormented Fras who were recreated as lesser beings during the Diminishing; a catastrophic event brought on by Adam’s father when he was a boy. The Diminishing has left the Fras deformed and the Marou lessened in power and stature.
'The boys soon learn that the Fras have found one of the lost Life Elements which imbue extraordinary powers upon the holder. While the Marou seek the Elements in the hope of being restored, the Fras are filled with hate, intent on regaining the Elements and taking their revenge on the boy’s father, his family and the Marou.'
Source: Publisher's blurb.
'Full of action, adventure and unexpected intrigue, Part 2, ‘A Land in Peril’, takes us deeper into the mysterious powers and places of the World Without.
'After defeating the terrible Septus and his demented horde of Fras followers, in Last days of the Koonung, Part 1 of The World Without trilogy, Mason, Adam and Tom return to the World Without only to find that an overwhelming sickness threatens to sink the world of the Marou and Fras into darkness and a slow tormented death.
The boys soon realise they have the seven Life Elements that were lost in the Diminishing, a catastrophic event that distorted the World Without and the creatures in it. As the source of all life, the Marou believe the seven Elements are the only cure to the sickness that afflicts them. The boys are tested to their limits, when they embark on a quest to save the Marou if they are to succeed as the new ‘Keepers of the Elements’, a task only ever earned by the most learned and skilled of the Marou. However, even before they set off, Septus hears of their plans and sets a trap, in the hope of gaining the Elements to use against the Marou, the boys, and the people of the World Within.
'During their quest, the boys must discover the true ‘Places of Finding’ and travel to the six surviving Guilds, each a centre of learning dedicated to a single Life Element. However, the Elements are hazardous and veiled in secrecy that could take their lives or entrap them forever.
'With the help of the Marou, Mason, Adam and Tom must overcome their own fears and weaknesses if they are to pass the tests of the Elements and overcome the trickery of Septus—only revealed in their final moments of triumph.' (Publication summary)