A new adventure in Brooks's Magic Kingdom of Landover series (The Tangle Box, 1993, etc.). Here, former Chicago lawyer Ben Holiday, now High Lord of Landover, faces a torturous plot hatched, as he will eventually discover, by the malign witch Nightshade. First, a certain Rydall, claiming to hail from a kingdom beyond the fairy mists that delimit Landover, rides up to challenge Ben for the mastery of the realm. Then Ben's magically precocious daughter, Mistaya, sent to visit her grandfather for safety's sake, vanishes into Nightshade's clutches. And while Ben's champion battles the monsters sent by Rydall, his court wizard, Questor Thews, finds himself magically detained on Earth. These Landover yarns are agreeable enough in their own limited fashion, and mostly manage to avoid formula; this one, after a lethargic start, comes well up to the mark.