Third in the series in which a band of Earthlings guide a late-medieval world where magic works toward—if not democracy, at least an end to slavery and oppression.
Thanks to the outcome of the previous entry (Not Quite Scaramouche, 2001, etc.), the influential Barony of Keranahan has a vacancy. Someone reliable, trustworthy, and loyal to white-hat Emperor Thomen must fill the position. Unfortunately, the real Baron, Forinel, has the ill grace to be dead, and next in line is Forinel’s ambitious and amoral half-brother Miron. Happily, news of Forinel’s death hasn't reached either Keranahan or the Emperor’s court, so gabby manipulator Walter Slovotsky and his Cullinane allies arrange for some powerful magic to transform stalwart warrior Kethol into the semblance of Forinel. At the new Baron Keranahan's side will stand Kethol's old buddy, the scarred soldier Pirojil, and the beautiful lady Leria—soon to become Kethol/Forinel's lover—will guide him through the social trappings. Naturally, Miron, though unaware of the substitution, won't take this lying down and neither will Thomen's foe at court, the scheming Dowager Empress Beralyn.
Brief bursts of bloodthirsty action interspersed with reminiscences, aristocratic circumlocutions, meditations on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and how for serving girls getting raped is best regarded as part of the job description. Fans only.