Second entry in Constantine's—trilogy? series?—about the aggressively expansionist Magravandian Empire (Sea Dragon Heir, 2000) and the people who scheme to run it, change it, or bring about its downfall. Young peasant Shan survives a massacre by Magravandian soldiers and is adopted by the ancient magus Taropat. As Shan will eventually learn, Taropat is also Khaster Leckery, the missing (and presumed dead) brother-in-law of Valraven Palindrake, Dragon Heir of Caradore. Taropat, who has big plans for Shan, teaches the boy some stuff while the author develops private mythologies at tedious length. Eventually, Shan will join a group Palindrake's enemies (including Khaster's brother Merlan) in a mystical quest for the Crown of Silence. An uncontrolled and unconvincing continuation: dedicated fans only.