Tor, Jul 2004, 25.95, 384 pp.
A dweller hero named Jugh, is apprentice librarian to the Grandmagister of the Great Library, Edgewick the Lamplighter. However, Juhg finds his work tedious and ennui is a problem for him as working inside the Vault of All Known Knowledge is boring for an adventurous rover like him though he admits to himself that his mentor the grand Wick seems contented in his role. Juhg goes on a sea voyage when he hears rumors of a book in the possession of Goblins, a race that would never own anything written except to use as fuel.
He decides to take the tome from the goblins and Juhg succeeds. He brings the book to his learned Grandmagister, but when Edgewick and the wizard Craugh inspect it they open a magical portal that enables Dread Riders, Blazebulls, and Grymmlings to enter their realm. Juhg, Edgewick, and Craugh battle the book's evil spell, but destroy much of their library and even if they succeed they have just started the quest because they will need to trace back to the source who might be a powerful malevolent Goblin Wizard Aldhran.
This is an engaging epic fantasy that reaches out to a wide range of readers with its amusing often ironic humor (especially satirizing Mel Odom's own works).
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner