Buck discovers that his favorite book series might be less fictional than he thought in this "silly, clever, [and] fun" (BCCB) middle grade adventure. Harry Potter. Percy Jackson. Custard the Gnome.
Buck is a super fan of the book series, The Triumphant Gnome Syndicate. He knows all the trivia. The properties of the Troll Vanquishing Mace, and even what kind of snack Custard, the Gnome of the West, prefers. But when the book's author disappears in a cloud of smoke, and Buck's little sister disappears into a bottomless dumpster, Buck realizes that the world of gnomes and trolls might really exist. What the heck?
As it turns out, the real Custard needs Buck's help to find the Troll Vanquishing Mace. And Buck needs to find his sister. So Buck and his best friend Lizzie set off on an adventure that would make any fan's head spin. But it seems the books did not tell the whole truth about this not-so-make-believe world. Buck soon discovers that real life doesn't work like a story, and the heroes and villains might not be who they seem. Holy trolls! What's a super fan to do?
Buck is about to fulfill the ultimate fantasy: going on adventures with his favorite characters, and getting the chance to save the world. Assuming he can figure out whose side he's really on.