Kerr's latest fantasy novel of the Westlands continues the story begun in A Time of Omens (1992). To escape entrapment on the etheric plane, Guardian Evander has arranged for his daughter, Elessario, to be born to a mundane, Princess Carra of Deverry. However, a powerful, evil, and mad goddess, Alshandra, is plotting to frustrate him, and the conflict soon involves some familiar characters--Jill the Dweomer-master and Rhodry the mercenary silver dagger--along with the usual assortment of bards, seers, warriors, nobles, elves, and talented children. Eventually, it emerges that Rhodry must go forth in search of the dragon Arzosah, without whose aid the good guys cannot win. These ingredients are stirred slowly with dollops of reincarnation, predestination, magic, and fate. Kerr's scenario is detailed but uninteresting, her plots large but unmotivated, her narrative agreeable but meandering and sluggish. For series fans only.