Victor and Vincent Nightshade are running for their lives through the tunnels and passages of the Catacombs where Killdeer and his powerful henchman, Billycam, reign in terror over the rat citizens of this underground world. The two boys are headed up to the Topside where they will eventually find a secret society of rebels who have created a new world with a new social order. There is a plan afoot to move the good citizens out from under the control of Killdeer and his army. These folk have lived long enough with the "stipend" being demanded of them and leaving them with little to nothing for themselves.
It's a cruel dictatorship and violence is the answer to all issues large and small. Killdeer also helps himself to the loveliest of the young lady rats offering them the opportunity for themselves and their family members to escape the stipend if they become The Chosen One. Lovely, brave Clover has just been selected for this great honor and she has very little time to create a plan to escape.
The story is a mix of the darkness of Killdeer and his abusive nature, addiction to Oshi, and charismatic personality and the goodness of the Nightshade clan led by our hero, Juniper, young Clover, Mother Gallo and the valiant bravery of the earthworms and the rebels. Greed and abuse of power get their comeuppance in this charming adventure story. Ages 10 and up 262 pages
Editor's Note: The plight of Clover about to be forced to become The Chosen One might be inappropriate for younger readers.