Second volume of a projected fantasy trilogy following Lee’s exceptional debut, The Dark Shore (1997). The Lady of the Garden, one of the godlike Nameless Ones, has used her magic to dream into existence the worlds of the Bright Shore. But now her unborn child’s development is being inhibited by an intruder from the Dark Shore. If she can’t locate and expel this shadow thing, she will waken her mad Consort, the dream will dissolve, and the Bright Shore will vanish. So she orders her servant, Old Ric, an ancient gnome, to find the intruder; Old Ric’s companion, Asofel, a tremendously powerful Radiant One, will destroy the shadow presence. Unfortunately, Asofel, fretful and petulant, loathes the chilly gloom of the Bright Shore, and drops Old Ric at random. So, as he searches, Old Ric must acquire helpers: young Broydo, an aelf-counsellor, with his magic serpent-bone sword; Lara, a pathetic ghost from the Dark Shore; and former thief Dogbrick. The shadow they seek is Reece, the magus who destroyed the evil Dark Lord. But Reece himself is only a puppet of the villainous Duppy Hob, whose ambition is to rule the Bright Shore with his armies of maggot-dwarves, the Necklace of Souls, and his alliance with a malevolent ether-devil. Again, brilliantly imagined and often fascinating, but this time everything’s overdone, from the convoluted plot and clotted backdrop to the horrendously overwrought prose and absurdly stilted dialogue.