Final installment of Duncan's tetralogy (most recently The Stricken Field, 1993) set in Pandemia, land of gods, sorcerers, and numerous human varieties, where the insane dwarf sorcerer Zinixo has enslaved many of the world's magicians and now threatens to make the arrangement permanent. Rap, the faun King of Krasnegar, leads the opposition to Zinixo's ensorcelled Covin, by promising a new and more just social order and an end to magic slavery. The pixies, powerful in magic, long hidden from the mundane gaze, have a new Keeper, young Thaile, a demigod who pledges her sorcerers to Rap's cause. The gnomes, in return for a promise by the Imperor Shandie to cease hostilities, sign on, as do the jotunn magicians, who are persuaded by Rap's son Gath--not to mention the cannibals, trolls, witches, elves, etc. Even so, Zinixo's Covin outnumbers Rap's forces four to one, and the showdown battle is fierce but brief. Thaile, however, apparently burned alive by Zinixo's overwhelming power, somehow fuses together with Rap's daughter Kadie to become the new God of Rescues. The God nullifies Zinixo's magic, thus freeing his enslaved Covin magicians and allowing Rap to proclaim his new deal. Overall, a series that didn't quite live up to the promise of the inaugural volume. Still, Duncan is an agreeable narrator: His plots add up and his characters have personalities.