A moment of intense silence followed and then the Rigden spoke up, his voice even: ÔYou have all been called today before the sacred court and from now, in every breath, in every heartbeat, in the shadow of every moment, in the intensity of the thoughtless state, in life, and in not-life, in physical or subtle form, we declare you our emissaries, our sacred envoys to the world of men. Shambala has a task for youÉÕ Lama Ozer and hisÊnovitiate Tashi leave the hidden monastery where they have lived all their livesÊin answer to a call from the legendary kingdom of Shambala received by the lama while deep in trance. Battling the freezing cold and snow of high, mist-laden mountain passes and the many evil forces that thwart their progress, they trek through Sikkim and Tibet to arrive at the Silver Fortress. Here they meet a host of divine and dark celestial beings, including the golden dakini, Yeshe Nam Lha, daughter of the Goddess Tara; Prince A-KarO, heir to the Lha Empire; and Prince Narasimha, heir to the Rigdens and the Shambala legacy. Both the princes are YesheÕs guardians and suitors, and she must travel with them to Earth where it is decreed that her child, Maitreya, the saviour, will be born. But before that happens they have the Asur forces to combat, and the dark prince Arden, who holds Yeshe captive, enthralled by his brooding menace, bewitched by his spell. Drawing richly from the vast pantheon of otherworldly beings that populate the myths of the Mahayana school of Buddhism, Path of the Swan, the first part of the surreally beautiful Tibetan-Buddhist fantasy series The Maitreya Chronicles, is a mesmerizingÊsaga of the battle between celestials and dark forces, and the descent of the celestials to Earth.