Book two of Lawhead's Song of Albion trilogy (following The Paradise War). Once again, the most appealing feature is Lawhead's respectful reworking of Celtic source material; much less convincing are his plotting and motivations, not to mention a distracting narrative switch. Now, after new narrator and bard Tegid crowns warrior Llew (the previous narrator, originally from our world), the evil Meldron usurps the kingship by striking off Llew's right hand (the king, you see, must be unblemished) and blinds Tegid. Soon, all Llogres falls to Meldron's warriors; then he invades the Isle of the White Rock to slaughter Albion's bards- -they wave their staffs but otherwise offer no resistance; then he attacks and, with ridiculous ease, defeats the warrior training- school on the Isle of Sci. Llew and Tegid flee to Caledon, where they found Dinas Dwr, a city in a lake, to stand against Meldron's hordes. Soon the poison blight foreseen by the dead bards engulfs the land; eventually Meldron shows up and defeats Llew's forces; but Llew, now condemned to die, instead acquires a magical silver hand, overthrows Meldron, accepts the kingship, and recaptures the vital Singing Stones that sustain the good powers of Albion. Agreeable Celtic lore distended by much huffing and puffing, and by magical events whose explanations (if any) must be taken on faith. A slack and uneven installment.