A sequel to the dreadful Guardian (1980), somewhat better planned but still dismally banal and pretentious. Guardian, an artificial intelligence left over from the war-destroyed First Age, has achieved its aim to become human. Reborn as Ozymandias in a multitalented android body, he sets off with a faithful cyborg sidekick to learn about the world, the flesh and the devil (""It is a strange and terrible thing to be a man. . .""). Arriving in Eleusynnia, Ozymandias can't resist working a miracle or two and, pursued by the irate local police, he flees to the Isle of Gnarra--where he becomes apprentice to sly old sorcerer Beldamo and falls in love with Beldamo's beautiful granddaughter Miratrice. But Beldamo, it turns out, plans to use Ozymandias' emergent abilities as a weapon of conquest. So Ozymandias hits the road again, with Miratrice (who betrays him and gets killed) and young son Bysshe--and ends up being forced to reinvent destructive First Age weapons. . . which leads him to suicide. Gnarled cliches and washed-out platitudes--a sorry Message novel.