Once upon a time, in this place called Elantris, there was this thing called the Shaod. People argued for years if it was pronounced Shaowd, Showed or Sha-Odd. Regardless, this was not the interesting thing about the Shaod. It was like a disease, but instead of making you get weird bumps on your privates, it made you a super-wizard. You could kill buffalo with mind-bullets, paint a house with mind-brushes...pretty much anything with mind-anythings. So some day, for no reason (psst, there's a reason, but I can't tell you what it is), the Shaod stopped making people super-wizards and instead made them crap-zombies. They couldn't die, but they were covered in shit and ugly as fuck. So the people put anyone who got the Shaod in Elantris. This is the story of a prince who became a crap-zombie and his adventures in crap-town. One of my favorite books that's not about talking dogs.