The weakest sword & sorcery outing yet from the author of the slick, YA-ish, innocuous How the Gods Wove in Kyrannon and The Seekers of Shar-Nuhn. Young nonentity Karas, whose father gambled for--and lost--the kingdom of Lantirion to the Warlock (the ordinary fulminating-sorcerer type), seeks to regain his heritage with a little help from witch-girlfriend Varil and various friends. (Even Karas' old dad totters down from the mountains to lend a hand.) So, after some clambering about in the snow or in underground caverns--and via the usual thudding bodies, gushing blood, and laserbeam magicking--that's exactly what happens. Wafer-thin plot, little tension, patchy narration: shabby stuff even by those unexacting s&s standards.