Final part of Jones's fantasy trilogy (A Man Betrayed, p. 184, etc.). The brilliant King Kylock, driven mad by guilt, betrayals, and drugs, is now utterly dominated by the evil sorcerer and chancellor Baralis--actually Kylock's father, though the King does not know this. The kingdom's only hope is Melliandra's unborn child, her husband the duke having been assassinated on their wedding night at Baralis's orders. Jack, the orphan baker's boy who somehow has acquired great magic power (he will also discover that he's the son of murdered King Lesketh) and Tawl, the disgraced knight, will combine to protect Melliandra and unravel the workings of Marod's riddling prophecy. A so-so trilogy that would have been the better for less bulk, more focus, and independently intelligible parts.