Bantam, August, 6.50, 336 pp.
After a particular horrific vacation, all Master Lizard-Maker Finn wants to do is work on mechanical lizards at his store in Fyxedia and enjoy the charms of his beloved Letita Louise, his wife in everything but name. Unfortunately, his sovereign, Prince Aghen Aghenfleck the Fourth, does not take his wishes into account. The prince wants Finn to travel by hot air balloon to Heldessia to deliver a lizard clock to the king.
This order makes no sense to Finn because Fyxedia and Heldessia have been at war for over seven hundred years. Since the matter is of some urgency, Finn leaves the next day and when he lands in Heldessia, he finds Letita Louise and Julia Jessica Slagg (his mechanical thinking and talking lizard) waiting for him. Getting into the palace is not easy but leaving is even harder because they keep stumbling into plots and making enemies everywhere they go.
THE TREACHERY OF KINGS is a very funny book especially when the author gets on the topics of the Newlies and mechanical lizards. The Newlies are a species of animals that were was changed into near humans seven hundred years ago. There is a lot of action and derring do in the exciting sword and sorcery novel but it is the eccentric and colorful cast of characters that make this fantasy a first class winner.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner