First of a fantasy trilogy from the author of The Warrior Returns (1996), etc. Young Safar, of the Timura family of expert potters, becomes friends with warrior Iraj Protarus when the latter takes refuge in Kyrania after having been driven from his home by a blood feud. In Safar's prophetic dream, Iraj is crowned King of Kings; Iraj dreams that Safar, a mighty wizard, stands at his side. Safar and Iraj then save a caravan from demon raiders. In time, Iraj returns home to claim his throne and begins to conquer neighboring states. Safar joins a traveling circus whose beautiful owner, Methydia, teaches him first to accept his magic talents, then how to exploit them. Eventually Safar, despite misgivings, agrees to join Iraj as his Grand Wazier. Demon King Manacia, meanwhile, mounts an invasion, but Safar and Iraj defeat him and occupy the demon capital, Zanzair. As Iraj surrounds himself with the wizards and advisors of his vanquished foes, however, he and Safar fall out over a woman; Safar, forced to flee, skulks in the wilds plotting revenge. Hardworking, competently wrought, and independently intelligible, but talky and undistinguished.