Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice´s life on the road, always a step ahead of the strange bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice´s grandmother, the reclusive author of a book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate - the Hazel Wood - Alice learns how bad her luck can really get. Her mother is stolen away - by a figure who claims to come from the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother´s stories are set. Alice´s only lead is the message her mother left behind: STAY AWAY FROM THE HAZEL WOOD.To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother´s tales began . . .