Tor, May 2003, 25.95, 415 pp.
Though now overdukes, sorceress Embra, warrior Hawkril, thief Craer, and sorceress Tshamarra along with ex-regent Ezendor Blackgult cannot rest on their laurels. To bring peace to the realm, the Overdukes must confront those who oppose their monarch. They must fight the priests of the Serpent and the wizard Ambelter as well as their supporters if they are to make Aglirta safe.
Currently the priests and their minions are posing the greatest threat. They are using a nasty form of a plague to send innocent people into a killing frenzy. Those who survive the berserker spree become mythical creatures enslaved by the priests to reuse again. With their work cut out to just avoid becoming victims of the bloody plague, let alone going on the offensive, the Band of Four still wield the Dwaer stones to embellish their counter spells in order to defeat their enemies. However, it looks bleak and hopeless.
The latest Band of Four adventure is not a cozy as this blood and sorcery tale flows red rather freely. Fans of the series will appreciate the gore that is cleverly interwoven into an exciting story. Besides a warning label to the anemic, the audience will know the quartet remains true to their respective essences so that the apparent series final, THE DRAGON'S DOOM, is a reader's joy.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner