Halfcaste Jani Burr spends her first twelve years in Tibet, under the turn-of-the-century care of old cockney Sergeant Sembur, so she knows about hardship and occultism first-hand; she sees lamas' prophecies come true and can talk to animals herself (including yaks and snow leopards). Jani takes it seriously, therefore, when lama Rild warns her of a ""Silver Man, the Eater of Souls"" who will threaten her and those she loves--she remembers the prophecy even after she escapes from the Himalayas (nursed through diphtheria by a young soldier called ""Mister"") to England. Adopted into the family of excitingly unconventional Eleanor Lambert, Jani quails knowingly when Eleanor falls under a spell and marries the demonlike Silver Man, Vernon Quayle. (Aha!) Voodoo powers are at work, beloved ""Mister"" makes his reappearance (now blind), and hideous Quayle unveils a plan to rip off the Tear of the Buddha of Choma La. Brent (Moonraker's Bride) gets more plot to the page than Scheherazade, but Jani's indomitable, fiercely loyal presence keeps things tightly anchored down: exotica with more heart and less twaddle than most.