Workaday sword-and-sorcery with political intrigues. Fia, using mental discipline and drugs, has the ability to create ""Stories,"" dramatic visual illusions. In the mountain kingdom of Veliano, she runs into old flame lord Brant--who promptly kidnaps her (and his) son Jorry, beats her up, and throws her headlong into the hurly-burly of palace plotting: Queen Leonore and her sadistic brother Perwold are scheming to remove King Rofdal and rule through Leonore's infant son. Leonore, who has access to stronger drugs, can make illusions more powerful than Fia's, and she's also searching for the White Pipes: whoever takes the correct drug and then plays the pipes can enslave anyone. And Fia, though chiefly interested in finding son Jorry, must assume the burden of locating the missing pipes when Brant is seized and jailed: she'll eventually defeat Leonore by convincing Rofdal of the queen's true intentions. Unsympathetic characters, vague sorcery, and murky, grim doings: uninvolving and undistinguished fantasy--but more vigorous and sinewy than the feeble, fluttery The Golden Grove (p. 174).