Pug and Tomas are two kitchen boys in the castle of Crydee with big dreams of being soldiers. But when choosing day arrives and Pug fails to be chosen by the swordmaster as an apprentice along with Tomas, he finds himself instead under the tutelage of Kulgan, a master magician. Kulgan instructs Pug in the arts of the mystical path of magic and discovers that the boy has an amazing talent – provided that he can work his way past an unusual mental block that is holding back his true power. Things, however, are about to change forever when Pug and Tomas stumble across the shipwreck of a vessel bearing an army from another world – strange, olive-skinned men with armor and weaponry made of sharpened wood and hide, preparing to invade the world of Midkemia through a series of rifts in time and space in search of metal. The kingdom must be warned, for a war is about to begin. And Pug and Tomas will play their own unique role in the unfolding events – one will become a master who will make both worlds tremble at his power, and the other will become something almost otherworldly, one who can command even the dragons as his servants.