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 On a world unsubtly named Chiaroscuro, Good has finally extinguished Evil; those few unregenerate rascals who refuse to see the light have their attitudes permanently improved by Mizzamir, the Good Elf Wizard. Unfortunately, the world that results is not only boringly aseptic but dangerously out of kilter. An endless summer refuses to give way to fall. Daylight encroaches upon the skies of night. Carnivores, unable to hunt, sit forlornly in or under the trees--indeed, in a month or two good/light will totally abolish dark/evil, rendering life itself impossible. So Kaylana, the last surviving Druid mage, must attempt to restore the balance. She recruits a band of lovable rogues: Sam the assassin, Arcie the thief, Valeriana the cannibal sorceress, Blackmail, a mysterious knight who neither eats, sleeps, nor speaks, and Robin, the timorous centaur minstrel. Their task will be to recover the six segments of the Spectrum Key--each protected by a magical Test-- and, after braving the Labyrinth, reinstate the evil DarkGate in the world, thus restoring the vital equilibrium. Not only must Kaylana's company avoid the lethal attentions of Sir Fenwick and his Verdant Company, they also have a traitor in their midst to contend with. A frothy and ingenious debut, with an agreeable, mildly humorous streak, though unsuspenseful and too long by half; should prove especially popular with the teenage fantasy-gamer crowd.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-312-85789-6
Page count: 480pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1995