Cole Randolph goes trick or treating with his friends Dalton and Jenna and some other sixth graders to a haunted house, just wanting to have some fun. There the group is kidnapped, except for Cole, and taken away. Cole follows them, wanting to rescue his friends, only to find himself and his friends in The Outskirts, an in-between place far from Earth.
He attempts to rescue his friends but ends up enslaved and sees a creation made by a powerdul shaper by the name of Liam but is unfortunately quickly sold after to the Sky Raiders. There he helps them raid strange floating castles, filled with deadly danger. While on a mission, his party is deceived and he is stranded with a slave girl and her mentor, both of whom are shapers. The mentor dies creating a craft to take Cole and Miracle (known as Mira) back to the Sky Raiders.
After returning, an army from the High King comes to take Mira to Junction, capital of The Outskirts. Cole, Jace, and Twitch help Mira escape. They pass through the Eastern Cloudwall and discover a hidden castle which is the home of Declan, the high shaper of Sambria, along with Liam, the most powerful shaper in the Sambria and the Five Kingdoms, and Asia a mildly powerful shaper who serves Declan. Cole, Jace, and Twitch learn that Mira is actually the High King's daughter whose power had been stolen by the High King but is now slowly returning.
Aided by Liam, Declan, and Asia they set off to capture Mira's power, which has formed itself as Carnag. They find Carnag and Liam appears and defeats it after they fail. Liam then defeats the shapecrafter Quima, learning that there is an order of shapers working to conquer the Five Kingdoms.
After being intercepted by an ally, Mira decides to go to Elloweer to help her sister Honor. Cole wishes to remain and live with Liam but decides to go with Mira, Jace, Twitch, and Joe to be a good friend.