As a "silvertongue," Mo (Fraser) has the power to bring book characters to life simply by reading aloud. He travels the world with teenaged daughter, Meggie (Bennett), as a professional book buyer in search of an exceptionally rare medieval tale that wreaked havoc on their lives. Years earlier, while reading that book Mo unleashed the nefarious characters Dustfinger (Bettany) and Capricorn (Serkis) while accidentally banishing his wife into the book, because when a silvertongue draws a character out someone must be sent in. As he tries to bring her back and return Dustfinger and Capricorn to their dusty pages, Capricorn employs all manner of magical powers to interfere and conquer the world. Based on the novel by Cornelia Funke, the special effects are thrilling but the complicated story struggles on the big screen.