ENTHRALLING CONCLUSION OF ARDATH MAYHAR'S BEST FANTASY! On a world far, far away, the poet Riddle and his four-year old nephew, Lute, rightful heir of Damaria, along with their companions escape Lute's uncle who has seized the throne and seeks their lives. Safe in the City in the Mist, Riddle, Lute, Moonlight, Kilelli, and Gorghoz are soon rested from their harrowing journey. But, Moonlight's magical powers as a Dreamer have been weakened by the encounter with the malignant entity known as Dinorm, and she cannot go west with her companions. Riddle, Lute, and Oakbeam pay an obligatory visit to the palace of Girnig, ruler of the city, finding him hostile to all of them but bound to protect them openly by ancient treaty. There the companions meet Riddle and Lute's kinspeople, Blade, brother to King Armor, and Tulip, his daughter, who welcome them with open arms. But, Riddle also discovers that Tulip intends to marry him, whether he wants her or not. If Lute were dead, Riddle will be the King of Damaria, and she a queen. When Tulip conspires with Arken, Girnig's seneschal, to kidnap Lute and delay Riddle from leaving the city so that she can have time to seduce him, she faces execution by her own father. Without Moonlight, the companions set sail together. But a monster storm, stirred up by the evil Dinorm, wrecks them on an island where his demonic powers hold full sway. Only after death, suffering and hardship will the exiles of Damaria, find their different fates.
Ardath Frances Hurst Mayhar (born 1930) began her writing career as a poet when she was nineteen. She began writing science fiction in 1979 after returning with her family to Texas from Oregon. She was nominated for the Mark Twain Award, and won the Balrog Award for a horror narrative poem in Masques I. She has had numerous other nominations for awards in almost every fiction genre and has won many awards for poetry. In 2008 she was chosen by Science Fiction Writers of America as their Author Emeritus.
Mayhar has written over 60 books ranging from science fiction to horror to young adult to historical to westerns; with some work under the pseudonyms Frank Cannon, Frances Hurst, and John Killdeer.