King of the world! Prestimion is Coronal Lord of Majipoor. The Starburst Crown is his at last.
The 30,000 rooms of the castle are crammed with eager guests and exotic gifts from the farthest corners of the largest and most wondrous planet in all the galaxy. Jubilation – not unmixed with greed and lust – sweeps through the Fifty Cities, which crowd the heights of the thirty-five-mile-high Castle Mount.
The coronation, its solemn ceremonies and bawdy delights, are Prestimion's to savor. Even love is possible again – a love that might replace the soaring passion he once knew. So why is he so sad? From whence this emptiness that darkens his soul like night?
Prestimion is burdened with a great secret, perhaps the greatest ever known. For he gained the throne through a bloody civil war, which stained the rivers crimson and strewed the fields with severed limbs. And yet it is a war no one remembers!
Prestimion swore an oath after his victory at Thegomar Edge. The war had left a scar upon the world – a scar he vowed to heal. With a phalanx of sorcerers, he invoked the awesome Spell of Oblivion and dropped it over his ravaged people like a cloak. Forgotten were the betrayals of Korsibar, the intrigues of the two-headed Su-Suheris, and the slaughter wrought by Dantirya Sambail at Mavestoi. It was as though the war had never been. Only Prestimion and two of his surviving comrades-in-arms remembered anything happened at all.
So how can Prestimion, now Coronal Lord of Majipoor, account for the devastation that still lies upon the land? How can he mourn the fallen sons and brothers who never died because they never existed? And most troubling, how can he bring to justice the kinsman who languishes in the dungeon because no one remembers his unforgivable crime?
Yet in this, his hour of triumph, Prestimion faces a rebellion far more insidious than war. When something, even sorrow, is taken away, something else rushes in to fill the void. In this case it is a global madness: a twisted violence that no ruler can control, no kingdom can keep away, and no love can long survive…