By the author of the lively St. Fidgeta and Other Parodies, this is very modest Tolkienesque following the adventures of two not terribly wizard wizards--Prospero, a bassoon playing bumbler, and his buddy, the monkish Roger Bacon. Prospero's house has been under siege by a weird assortment of grisly phantoms. Prospero is running out of charms and his sarcastic magic mirror isn't helping matters. Then they discover that the key to the riddle lies in a mysterious book of magic which has fallen into the hands of the malevolent Melichus, Prospero's old fellow apprentice. Things squish, bump, gurgle, slither and creep after our two heroes as they rush-about miss-spelling things. Mr. Bellairs is occasionally very funny, sometimes almost frightening. But what's really missing is the happy irreverence of St. Fidgeta.