Another of Dickson's tongue-in-cheek medieval fantasies (The Dragon and the Djinn, 1996, etc.). Former college professor Jim Eckert now lives in an alternate 14th-century England where he's Sir James of Malencontri, a magickian's apprentice, and also, part-time, a rather dimwitted dragon named Gorbash. This time out, Jim is presented with a fine set of problems: Mysterious holes appear in castle and forest; his adopted son, infant Robert, is kidnapped; Jim joins an expedition to Cumbria on behalf of the king; once again he has trouble drawing on his account at the magickal bank; and finds that his master, the AAA+ magickian Carolinus, is inconveniently absent. Still, Jim will be assisted by humans, Rrrnlf the sea devil, Aarg the wolf, and Hob the hobgoblin, to stop the malefactors from usurping the kingdom. Agreeable and satisfying.