Life is not easy for twelve year old Erec Rex. His single mother works constantly, but can barely support her adopted kids. They’ve moved again, into an apartment so tiny that Erec sleeps with the washing machine. And worse, there is a strange force in Erec that makes him to do odd things. No matter how hard he fights it, his urge to obey grows until it is impossible to resist. Usually, it makes him do good things, like putting pillows at the bottom of stairs moments before his sister crashes down. But what if, someday, he is made to do something terrible?
Then one morning, Erec's mother is missing. His power commands him to find her, taking him on an adventure that will change him forever. He meets Bethany, a kindred spirit who also lost both parents in a mysterious past. Together, they discover a magical world called Alypium, where the knowledge of magic is kept.
Things in Alypium are amiss: their King Piter is hypnotized, and his castle lies on its side. When Erec tries on his mother's glasses, he finds he can see her wherever she is. She is a prisoner of a king named Pluto. Erec can not understand why Pluto would want her ... but secrets start to tumble out. Erec learns he was born in Alypium, and he may not be safe there. He is upset she has hidden so much from him, and loses trust in her.
His only hope to rescue his mother is to find ingredients for a formula to blast her free. While searching for them, he enters contests to choose the next three rulers of Alypium.
The contests, including the "Pro and Contest", where they are reprimanded by movie characters, and the "Under Mine", are challenging enough, but somebody is attacking the winners, making kids afraid to compete. Erec's magical power helps him save friends from such things as swamp gas, attack fleas, and a minotaur.
Balthazar Ugry, not only evil, but with a terrible smell, seems to be the culprit. Just looking at him makes Erec tremble. What's more, Erec discovers someone is planning to take over Alypium, as well as the other magical lands—Aorth and Ashona. Could this be Ugry as well?
When the blasting formula is ready, Erec crosses King Pluto's deadly dungeons to save his mother, but he makes a mistake. He doubts her advice, and almost loses his life to the deadly destroyers and shadow demons.
Amazed he survived, he puts on the glasses to find he freed his mother. With renewed confidence in each other, they plan a strategy. If he becomes the next king, he can save Alypium from Ugry, and his family could come out of hiding.
Odds stacked against them, Erec and Bethany advance to the final contest, but something is not quite right. He must retrieve an eye from a ferocious dragon. King Pluto wants the eye, but Erec learns he must keep it. He escapes to the castle, where he is thrown into the clutches of his most deadly enemy.