From the introduction:
Unfortunately, you were born on Mud.
Life is hard in your village. You have lost many play mates to the deadly jungle that surrounds you.
You took solace only in the tales told around the sputtering village fire, of the vast empire of the High Old Ones, the age of leisure and war, of slaves and feasts. That was before the Uprising, and the long Downfall that left those few who survived naked and huddling in the darkness of the jungle.
You grew. When the time came for the Trials of Life and you went through the Bloodletting, the shaman moaned at the sight your blood. You have the Blood's Way in you.
You spent the next painful year learning the ancient, strange arts of magic. You have the scars to prove it, some carved by your own hand. Now, at the height of your fourteenth summer, you must leave your village. If you're lucky, you will survive your four years of exile and become a full shaman. Perhaps you will even uncover the secrets of the High Old Ones and the great stone cities they left behind. Perhaps you will even stay sane.