The Book of Silence (1984) is the fourth Fantasy novel in The Lords of Dus series, following The Sword of Bheleu. The initial volume in this sequence is The Lure of the Basilisk.
In the previous volume, Kyrith was certain that Garth had been held captive by the Baron. She persuaded the City Council of Ordunin to send sixty overman to find Garth. The Baron was in a depressive state when the overmen arrived and would not talk to them. Kyrith decided to lay siege to the town.
Galt came back to Skelleth as co-leader of the group. He didn't have much to do, since Kyrith had taken overall command of the group. He was standing guard in the rain when Saram came out to talk to the overmen.
Garth arrived the following day with Frima and Koros. He also had the Sword of Bheleu, the powerful token of the god of destruction. Since he had lost his other weapons, the Sword was his only means of defense.
Garth already had anger management issues. The Sword kept him at a low level of anger whenever he was near it. The pommel glowed bright red while it was manipulating him.
Garth was extremely angry at the news that the overmen were besieging Skelleth. He sent the first overman that he encountered off to gather the others and take them back to the camp. Then Garth faced his wife and told her that laying siege to Skelleth was an act of war.
In this novel,Garth is an overman. He is a humanoid taller and stronger than a man. He is the Prince of Ordunin -- a port city in the far north -- and Lord of the Overmen of the Northern Waste. He is married to three overwomen and has many children.
Kyrith is Garth's senior wife. They have no children.
The Forgotten King is an immortal man from long ago. He lives in the King's Inn within the village of Skelleth.
Saram is a former Lieutenant in the guard of the Baron of Skelleth. He had been discharged from the guard for insubordination.
Frima is a young maiden of Dusarra who had been taken by the followers of Sai -- the goddess of pain and suffering -- and tortured by the priests. Garth had rescued her from the altar and took her with him.
Haggat is the Chief Priest of Aghad, the god of hatred, fear, and loathing. The primary temple is within Dusarra.
Koros is Garth's warbeast. He is a mixture of the breeds of cat, dog and donkey. The warbeast is as tall as a large human, but weighs much more.
In this story, Garth is waiting in the King's Inn in Skelleth for news. He has favorable relations with the local authorities, but has heard nothing from the City Council of Ordunin or from the High King at Kholis. He is not expecting the next caravan from Ordunin for several weeks.
Garth is bored, so he goes over to talk with the Forgotten King. At first, the old man ignores him. Finally, the King gives him a task to do just to rid himself of the annoying overman. Scrying on this conversation from Dusarra, Haggat prepares his vengeance.
Garth gathers supplies and rides out on Koros. As he rides south, Garth notices widespread signs of fighting. When he reaches Orgul, the land is green and untouched by war. He also doesn't see any signs of the dragon he has come to slay.
As he nears the forest, a man comes out and waves for his attention. Garth approaches him on Koros. The man says nothing for a while as he stares at the overman and his warbeast. Obviously he has never seen anything like them.
Recovering to his purpose, the man warns Garth to stay away. The dragon is loose and may well cook him with its breath and then consume him. Despite all his efforts, Garth rides on.
Coming upon a town, Garth rides through and finds little of interest. Yet the last shop on the street has ingenious toys. He stops and goes in to look at the inventory. He leaves with a mechanical bird that flies.
Riding on further, he sees the dragon fly overhead. Then it swoops on him and even breaths flame at him. Finally it leaves and the overman considers his observations.
This tale takes Garth back to Skelleth. He finds Kyrith dead. Then Haggat sends a vision of Aghad to state that she has been an offering to the god.
Garth decides that the cult of Aghad should be entirely destroyed. This is the last volume in the series. An omnibus edition -- The Lords of Dus -- with all four novels in this sequence is now available.
Highly recommended for Watt-Evans fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of magical mutations, Warring gods, and virtually no romance. Read and enjoy!
-Arthur W. Jordin