Another in Dickson's fantasy series (The Dragon, the Earl, and the Troll, 1994) featuring former college professor Jim Eckert and his wife, Angle, now resident in an alternate 14th-century England. Jim is a busy man: As well as being the knightly Sir James of Malencontri, he's apprentice to the AAA+ class magickian, Carolinus, and also a part-time dragon! This time out, friend and neighbor Sir Brian of Castle Smythe must travel to the city Palmyra in the Holy Land, the last known whereabouts of Sir Geoffrey de Chaney; Brian wants to ask the old knight for permission to wed his daughter, Geronde. After various adventures, Jim and Brian finally discover Sir Geoffrey, who turns out to be the rich merchant Murad of the Heavy Purse; Murad claims to be under such a dreadful curse that he can never return home. Ibn-Tariq, a self-taught sorcerer, asserts authorship of the curse, but Jim, a C-class magickian, knows that only demons have the power to curse humans. Indeed, ibn-Tariq has called forth a frightful demon, Ahriman, to help further his ambitions, in the mistaken belief that he could control the creature. So Jim's magickal determination will be tested to the uttermost as he strives to hurl Ahriman back into the realm of demons. An improved, agreeably lighthearted installment--this time with solid 14th-century accouterments, engaging doings, and a narrative that doesn't take itself too seriously.