Apprentice healer Twilla, carrying nothing but her magic mirror, is forcibly transported to the Far Lands to wed a settler chosen by lot, according to the king's decree. Hoping to deflect potential suitors, Twilla uses her mirror magic to disguise herself as a plague victim. But the trick backfires when her allotted husband rejects her in revulsion and expresses the intention of having her raped. So Twilla must flee along with Ylon, the son of Far Lands ruler Lord Harmond, now magically blinded and a despised nonentity through the ill will of the forest folk. Yet only in that same forest will the pair be safe from pursuit. There, good forest dweller Oxyle gives Twilla a guarded welcome, but evil forester Lotis threatens her and re-enslaves poor Ylon. Later, Twilla uses her mirror magic to free a company of dwarves, ensorcelled 1,000 years ago in the underforest by a wicked mage. Lotis, it emerges, has reacquired much of this ancient, evil knowledge, and also has made a deal with a Dandus priest--they practice human sacrifice and now dominate Lord Harmond's people. So Twilla must create an alliance capable of defeating Lotis. Somewhat long and at times overcomplicated, but mostly refreshing and inviting: a certain audience-pleaser from the grand- masterly author of The Hands of Lyr (1994), etc.