Full dress Andre Norton adventure, set in the kingdom of Ulm where the hooved hero Kerovan -- cursed at once by his mother's evil magic and his father's uncertain ancestry -- fights to defend his land from the attacks of metal monsters (tanks?) and secure his place on the throne despite the scheming of his mother's relatives. In alternate chapters, his as yet unclaimed bride Joisan tells of her escape from the invaders with the help of Kerovan's gift -- a radiant (radioactive?) crystal gryphon -- and of her eventual acceptance of Kerovan, whom she at first mistakes for one of the Old Ones. All this adds up to more intrigue and spells and pseudo-medieval dialogue than such expressionless protagonists can support. One would like to know more about the past/ present world of Ulm, but a little less plot and some evidence that the author possesses a sense of humor would have made Kerovan more fully human.