Martial-arts fantasy from the author of Leopard (1994), etc. Renagi, the cruel and arrogant Warlord of Zendow, conceives a passion for the beautiful Maliseet, a peasant girl from one of Zendow's slave villages. But no Zendai may mingle his blood with that of an inferior raceso Renagi secretly abducts Maliseet, brutally rapes her, then sends her home. In due course, Maliseet delivers the blond-haired, blue-eyed TegnÇ, and is promptly killed when she tries to present the child to his dark-haired, dark-eyed father, while the infant falls into the river and is presumed drowned. In fact, he is rescued by the wandering sensei, Tabata, and tutored in the Way of the Empty Hand, an exacting Zen-with- unarmed-combat discipline. Eventually, Renagi learns of the child's survival and sends assassins; Tabata is slain defending TegnÇ, who flees to the Temple of the Moon, where his studies continue. Meanwhile, on the spirit plane, a struggle is shaping up between TegnÇ's wise protectors and the evil Cat, who will take the form of a human woman in order to try to seduce TegnÇ from his destiny. Fair-to-middling entertainment for martial-arts fans, but little for orthodox fantasists to chew on.