Gutterboy-turned-wizard Conn once again saves his beloved city from magical and other disasters while irritating friends and enemies alike.
Showing signs that the well of inspiration may be running dry, Prineas continues or recycles plot elements from previous episodes, brushes contradictions aside and doesn’t even bother to come up with a new villain. Spurred by a string of wizardly thefts and a vague feeling that all is not right in Wellmet, Conn—as has been his practice—mulishly rejects the offered help of his friends and returns to his grubby roots for a solo investigation. While said friends exchange hand-wringing letters of concern (arbitrary parts of which are written in a runic code for readers to decipher), Conn discovers that his old nemesis, Crowe, is back from exile. The evil wizard brings with him magic cages that block some spells but not others, depending on the needs of the plot, and also a scheme to take over the government with a few well-placed bombs. As only Conn is aware, such blasts will actually destroy the whole city by upsetting its uneasily balanced magical underpinnings. Multiple chases, captures, escapes, conveniently overheard conversations and encounters with dragons ensue.
Contrivances, filler and laboriously manufactured suspense stall a formerly nimble fantasy series. (map, cast list, menu) (Fantasy. 11-13)