High fantasy, with steadfastness and honor winning over corruption and deception. Princess Tania becomes a fugitive after her father and the rest of her family die, betrayed to the minions of the dread sorcerer Ascanet. In the act of treachery, Ascanet's ring--corporeal form of Orcus, God of disorder, and source of his power--is lost, and Tania finds it. Aided by maimed minstrel Eliar (compatriot of Tania's long-dead mother), she flees to Eliar's native Dacaria, a place so deeply peaceful that Ascanet can gain no hold on it. There, Tania learns that if she can endure a day and a night in Ascanet's castle without wearing the ring, his power will be broken. Though sorely tempted by Ascanet's promise to spare Eliar from further torture, Tania holds out and Ascanet is destroyed. Gods and goddesses in human and other forms, benevolent werewolves, vicious hippogriffs, mind slaves, trapped souls, lutes and music, horses, true love, and enough subplots and minor characters for several soap operas make this a rich stew--too rich, perhaps, for easy digestion, and even with all the complications things come a little too easily for Tania. Still, a satisfyingly romantic story.