When an empire defeats a neighboring nation, the winning army marches home in triumph for a week of parades and celebration before the victorious soldiers trickle back to their farms and businesses. What happens to the grunts on the losing side?
Stranded in the victor's territory, Jaken, Halver and Kesi are used to fighting for their lives, but this time, a rising wind of political turmoil and racial tension is putting what remains of their homeland, along with the rest of the Empire's diverse working population, at risk. The subtle signs hint at a single powerful manipulator nudging the situation in a direction that will make the trio miss the good old days of fighting a hopeless war.
Magic is a tool for the influential and the legendary. The three discarded soldiers will have to make do with wit, steel and luck. It's got to turn out better than last time.
This is too removed and distant from the actual story to be a hook. You've got a good idea but this doesn't let it show off much.