Inventive but rather superficial fantasy written by Lackey from a summary provided by Anthony, then revised and edited by him. In Mazonia, only women possess the ability to produce illusions through conjuration, and so men are their slaves; the most powerful conjuror becomes queen. Young Xylina, mighty but inhibited and unambitious, acquires a talented slave, Faro, by defeating him in the arena. But Xylina falls victim to a series of untoward events and fails to prosper. She begins to suspect not ill fortune but the machinations of a potent enemy. The demon Ware, despite his oath to obey Queen Adria, lends Xylina money and reveals that Xylina's enemy is in fact the Queen. Then, when Xylina is unable to repay her debt to Ware, Adria agrees to guarantee Xylina's debt--but as payment Xylina must lead an expedition to remote lands to secure a crystal fragment that will make Adria immortal. Slowly, Xylina comes to trust Ware, who loves her with strictly honorable intent; numerous complications, created by the demon's ludicrously bizarre sexuality, ensue. After various adventures, Xylina obtains the crystal but decides to keep it for herself--so forcing a magical duel with dangerous Adria. Intriguing social fantasy that grows ever less persuasive and appealing once the enterprise gets hijacked by subplots about halfway through, leaving many promising ideas undeveloped. Still, a huge audience is guaranteed.