The Crown of Silence : When Shan was fifteen years old, dark soldiers came out of the west, like a cloud of evil boiling over the soft hills of his homeland. They commanded terrible beasts, which killed with hook claws like scythes and cold eyes that dripped icy fire. The soldiers wore helmets that looked like fiends, tusked and snarling and sneering. The terrible consequences of war have left the boy Shan wounded in body and mind by the invading army of Magravandias. He's taken from his devastated village by the magus Taropat, chosen by the master's mysterious impulse to become the wizard's pupil, and a weapon against the invading empire.