Feist returns yet again to Midkemia, the world of his ``Riftwar'' trilogy (Magician, Silverthorn, A Darkness at Sethanon), this time focusing on the younger generation: his protagonist, Prince Nicholas, is the son of a main character in the trilogy. As the title suggests, the story is a generic swashbuckler, with no pretense to great originality or depth. Sent to a frontier outpost for a taste of the rugged life, Nicholas and his friend Harry are thrust into danger when pirates raid the town and make off with hostages, including the ruler's daughter. With the help of a crusty old admiral, Amos, the boys sail off in pursuit. After a variety of adventures--shipwreck, starvation, ambush, sorcery, and plenty of combat--they arrive home safe, ready to assume the responsibilities of leadership. Feist includes a full complement of colorful supporting characters (some familiar from previous volumes), exotic settings, and fantastic marvels--including a dragon. Feist's large body of fans, and younger readers who haven't seen it all before, will probably find this one exactly to their taste. More sophisticated readers may be annoyed by the author's plodding style, especially at such generous length.