Sequel to Beneath the Vaulted Hills (not reviewed), or, better, the second half of a doorstopper entitled The River into Darkness. In a world where magic is vanishing, the last mage, Eldrich, has trained no successor, nor will he allow anyone else to practice the magic arts. Eldrich, you see, has had a vision showing him the world ending in a dreadful apocalypse unless the practice of magic ceases. But long ago, the Tellerites, a dissident group, rejected his vision; now they have secretly nurtured and trained a young woman, Anna Fielding, hoping she will develop into a mage and oppose Eldrich. Anna and her followers have good reason to resent, even hate, the ruthless and implacable Eldrich. But--what if the old mage is right?. A strange and beautiful book that offers an unusual depth and nuance of character, set forth in lustrous dialogue and prose the texture of honeyed silk.