In The Shaman (1995), the first in the author's new series, a big, kindly clansman by the name of Ohaern defeated the bad god Ulahane; his reward was 500 years of sensual bliss in the arms of the beautiful goddess Rahani. Here, however, Ulahane's son Bolenkar is tyrannizing the world, so Ohaern--his physical body's too stiff and old, not up to the task--must find a champion among the mortals to defeat Bolenkar. He chooses Culaehra, a bully, scoundrel, and outcast, and provides him with a magic sword. And so, after the usual trials, battles, and tests of character, a new, reformed, worthy Culaehra will eventually defeat the evil godling. Stasheff fans will doubtless take pleasure in the details, but readers seeking more realistic, less formulaic fantasy will do much better elsewhere.