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 favor with the French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte. It's a world not much different from our own, except that small dinosaurs are a part of everyday life. Some are farmed, and some are pets. Others, more dangerous, are avoided at all cost. And there are rumors 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 Napoléon'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 his home is just a stone's throw from the fields of Waterloo, fields that will soon run red with blood.