Beal Wrightwood was born with a purpose. Destined to be the next generation of a secret society, he has idea that so much rests on his shoulders. For w, Beal just wants to get through college and pursue his lifelong dream of learning to fly. His plans for an uneventful year, however, are about to be sidetracked-perhaps forever. When the professor of his history and mythology class asks Beal to help with a field trip project, Beal readily agrees. More than happy when he realizes that his beautiful fellow student, Claudia Schmidt, will be a part of the project, Beal is soon immersed in the history of the Cahokia Mounds, an often overlooked area in the nation's chronicles. As Maura Keres, the ufficial teacher's assistant, leads him through the site, Beal suddenly feels an unusual vibration beneath the mounds that one else tices. It is t long before Beal discovers his destiny-to reestablish an ancient order of conservators thought to be long extinct. As Beal embarks on a yearlong journey that will test his newfound special abilities, he soon realizes it is up to him to save the world from self-destruction.