Emerging from a river to find himself king of an exotic and dangerous world, former ne'er-do-well Lukas rises grandly to the occasion, placing more demands upon himself than are imposed by the situation, while occasionally berating the shabby traveling conjurer who seems to have transported him there--though Lukas doesn't know if the man has power to snatch him back or even if he can hear Lukas calling him. Costume existentialism? Not so you'd notice. For Lukas ends up securely back in his old familiar town, and though his maturing adventure in Shirazan takes only a few seconds from his "real life," it fills the book with escapades, battles, colorful encounters, loyal friendships, and clever schemes--all part of pacifist Lukas' campaign to wrest power from a palace strongman and bring peace and autonomy to the people. Felicitously spun, ingeniously framed adventure.