Simon Spicer is a lonely, melancholy professor in Maine. A widower, he was once a talented poet, but writes no more. At the age of thirty-five, he simply exists, aged beyond his years by disappointment. Spice is unaware of the physical and mental properties that set him apart from his fellows and fit him for a bizarre mission-but he will soon find out. In the world of the Keepers, one of their own has gone rogue. Calling himself ShadowCaster, he has taken over the planet Talar and bred an environment of evil and death. The Keepers need a hero, but they are incapable of destroying ShadowCaster on their own. They require an outsider with the proper skills, and Spice is their man-although before he can take on the task, he must first die. Once he does, his true powers awaken: powers of mind control and non-oral communication. With nothing to lose, Spice accepts his fated mission: to find ShadowCaster and stop him. Once a lonely, hopeless man, Spice is now the hope of the universe, ordered to redeem a fallen world and perhaps also himself.