We are back to the heart of that which matters the most, 'The Conclave of Shadows' and its most powerful magicians. While Pug, Magnus, Nakor and Bek commence a journey into the second realm of reality, Miranda is left on the first realm to deal with the Assembly of Black Robes in Kelewan. Add the mad & hugely powerful magician Leso Varen, now inhabiting a Great One's body, to the mix, and things really start to boil over. Meanwhile on the Dasati world, we get a glimpse into the chaotic, barbaric & extremely disturbing society of the Dasati through the eyes of Valko, a Deathkinght just returned from the Hiding & undergoing training to become the lord of his house. The Deathknights, Deathpriests, TeKarana and the Dark God himself provide an overdose of insights into the twelve worlds that make up this very dark plane of reality. As a side-plot, Caleb's sons are sent to Roldem to continue their education and initiation into the Conclave. Things come a head at the end; where Miranda is captured by the Dasati Deathpriests, Valko realizes his true destiny to be the harbinger of revolution & facilitator of resurgence of the White, Pug's band of the most powerful Midekemian magicians finally reaches the home of the Dark God of Dasati, and most importantly, the return of the most powerful magician ever, Macros the Black!
Feist does a great job of handling the 4 plot-lines concurrently, although the part with Tad, Zane and Jommy does seem quite pointless. A really well-written book with a wonderfully intricate plot and many philosophical abstractions to ponder. The series is now nicely set-up for the finale!