In a long, earnest fantasy with a Celtic flavor, young Collun leaves his beloved farm to search for his missing sister, Nessa. On the way, he picks up some familiar types as companions--Crann, a powerful old wizard; Brie, a woman warrior disguised as a lad; the elflike Silien; etc. He's pursued by Morgs and sundry other unsavory creatures and has several narrow squeaks when his country is invaded by the forces of an evil queen. The action here frequently stops for detailed history lessons, and Pattou doesn't take many chances with either plot or characters--though it's refreshing to see a hero who prefers to garden, and who would rather heal wounds than inflict them. The monsters are vividly rendered, especially the noxious Firewurme that Collun must kill in order to rescue Nessa. In the end, Collun foils the invaders by recovering part of a magic stone, and he and Brie go off happily together to plan a garden; several dangling storylines promise sequels. Fantasy readers will enjoy this excursion over rich if well-trodden ground.