In a return to the mythical world of The Spellkey (1987), Downer brings the lives of Caitlin and the Badger to resolution through an intricately woven plot. Though the two have been separated by the fates they chose in the previous book (Caitlin to become a seer, and the Badger a knight of the Chameol), the memory of their passion endures, especially since Caitlin bears Bram, their child. When Bram is replaced by a changeling, Caitlin's search for him is guided by a seer's glass in the shape of a salamander. Meanwhile, the Badger is sent to discover why the residents of a certain village seem to be going mad. The two adventurous quests eventually take both to the origins of their world and the end of their archenemy. As before, Downer's richly convoluted story is presented as a mosaic, each piece polished with evocative (if sometimes overblown) language and sly wit; and she has created lots of crisply drawn, memorable characters. A challenging read, but worth the effort.