In this sequel to Cup of Clay (1991), Douglas returns Allison Carver, a Minnesota reporter, to the fantasy world called Veil, setting of the first of the series. In her previous visit to Veil, Allison won a magical cup, the prize in a competition among that world's heroes; now she learns that her removal of the cup to Earth has caused a blight in the parallel world. The hero named Rowan, her main adversary in the competition for the cup, is the obvious one to whom to return it, but he denies any interest in it. She and Rowan set out on a new quest, seeking the cause and cure of the blight on the land. After a long journey and many trials, the plot ends on a cliffhanger. Meanwhile, in its quasi-allegorical treatment of feminist and ecological issues, the novel strikes an earnest tone that not even the author's awkward prose entirely undercuts. A curious hybrid of stock romantic fantasy and something more ambitious, this one might appeal to the readers of Stephen R. Donaldson.