Author(s): L.E. Modesitt
Corus has entered a new dark age. Its kingdoms lie in the state of perpetual conflict, while the people live in dread of supernatural beasts and bizarre animals that roam the wilds. Few humans still possess magical Talent, and those that do are condemned to a lifetime in service of their realm. Seeking to avoid such a fate, Alucius, a young but powerful mage, signs up for the Militia. It proves an unwise choice. For the land of Corus is invaded by a slave army under the command of the immortal monarch Madrien and the Militia are soon hopelessly overstretched. Alucius must either accept his fate and reveal his growing Talent, or stand by while his homeland falls into shadow and despair.