Book Two of Eddings's latest trilogy (Domes of Fire, 1992): a second set of yarns about the Pandion Knight, Sparhawk, his wife, Queen Ehlana, and a supporting cast of thousands. This time out, our heroes quickly learn who is behind the latest crop of troubles: Zalasta, the Styric sage, who for hundreds of years has secretly nursed a virulent hatred of the child-goddess Aphrael, her sister Sephrenia, and the good guys in general. Sparhawk, meanwhile, learns to communicate with Bhelliom, the powerfully magical blue jewel that he has just retrieved from the sea with Aphrael's help. He has also made contact with the legendary Shining Ones, supposedly ghoulish types whose touch is death; they turn out to be victims of Zalasta's treachery and a centuries-old misunderstanding. The Shining Ones, in the process of becoming transcendental, need Bhelliom's assistance; in exchange, Xanetia, who can read minds, will help to expose the conspiracy that Zalasta created against the emperor Sarabian. Behind Zalasta, it emerges, is the god Cyrgon; he's prodding the Trolls to go to war by pretending to be their gods (they are actually trapped inside Bhelliom), so again Sparhawk must do rapid negotiating: the Troll-Gods, in return for their freedom, agree to restrain their Trolls and help defeat Cyrgon. Finally, Ehlana, left idiotically unprotected, is kidnapped by the bad guys. And so to volume three. Very little action, a great deal of chat, and lots of rather pointless embroidery. At least those who enjoyed volume one should be happy; non-fans need not bother.