The fabled city of Neveryona, whose streets are filled with gold guarded by a huge dragon, may be summoned from beneath the sea with the correct incantation. So, after hearing a tale about it, young dragon-riding mountain girl Pryn takes to the road. In Kolhari, Gorgik the Liberator lectures her on citites and commerce, as does Madame Keyne on money and power. Elsewhere, Earl Jue-Grutn supplies lectures on maps, numbers and Art: ""All instinct tells us: one of them must be art, the one that demonstrates a clear concern for the detail of what it represents that is finally one with its concern for the detail of its own material construction, so that either concern, whether for representation or just skill in the maneuvering of its own material, might replace the other as justification for our contemplation without the object's abnegating its claim to a realism including and transcending either accuracy of craft."" And though there are a few adventurous moments tucked away amid the pervasive symbolism, there's hardly enough drama to justify all that wearisome speechifying. Strictly for fans of Dhalgren and Tales of Neveryon--or for devotes of metaphor/parable fantasy at its most academic.