In the first of a trilogy, ancient times and the present clay intermingle in Britain's Cornwall, ensnaring modern children in ancient evil. Penny and John Trevelyan, on holiday, visit their Uncle Ben near Land's End. While rescuing a Breton fisherman, Ben finds an ancient crown set with a mysterious stone. The crown crumbles; it turns out that the stone, which is given to Penny, is a talisman of great power from the Lords of Lyonesse, a lost land now covered by the sea, and that John and Penny are descendants of the Last Lord. The stone attracts the immortal evil sorcerer Marek, who wants it to make his power absolute, but also brings forth elf-Lord Corantyn, dwarf Gawen, and Jack the Tinner, earthly form of Weland, an ancient God of the Aesir. Together these allies, aided by warriors from the past, defeat Marek and his hellish demons; in the end, Marek is claimed by Satan himself. There's never a dull moment here, with Arthur, Merlin, ancient stone rings, goblins, and sundry other legendary people and creatures all having their turn on the stage. Despite a somewhat derivative plot, language that wanders from mock-heroic to the vernacular, and the author's old-fashioned full-page drawings, the lore and legend of Cornwall give the story narrative sweep and power. For collections with enthusiastic fantasy readers.