After receiving a visit from a royal herald, Calvin MacAlastair, an impoverished sixteen-year-old resident of Slum Lane, learns that he is the heir to an aristocratic title—the Thane of Murkendale Moor—and his family is set to inherit a six-hundred-year-old castle named Crustenburgh in the Scottish Highlands. Upon their arrival, however, the MacAlastairs quickly realize that life as pampered billionaires is not what they expected, and Crustenburgh is no ordinary castle. Calvin finds himself surrounded by the dangerous and the strange: mysterious albino servants, haunted hallways, chilling family secrets, and an uncertain future in which the slightest slip-up could cost him everything.
But the spectral and occult become secondary when distant relatives of the MacAlastairs seek to claim their own right to the inheritance. Octavius Onus, a scheming young genius and Calvin’s extended cousin, along with Octavius’s predatory mother Dr. Denia Darkling, an arachnologist with a venomous secret, have no desire to get along at Crustenburgh. To the contrary, they have plans to not only replace Calvin as Lord of the Manor, but to remove him permanently.
Exhausted by a never-ending barrage of spidery plots, Calvin is relieved when Octavius challenges him to a formal combat. But what Calvin doesn’t know is that Octavius has no intention of fighting fair, and their duel is a fight to the death.