The years since first be gained the Starburst Crown have been difficult ones for Coronal Lord Prestimion and the vast, unfathoniable realm he rules. But finally peace has been restored to Majipoor. And now it is time for Prestimion to name the able Prince Dekkeret his succeeding Coronal and to descend to the Labyrinth as Pontifex. But a power from a dark past that both men believed was dead is stirring once again – an evil more potent and devastating than either leader dares to remember.
Once, decades past, a then knight-initiate Dekkeret had his dreams stolen from him. His quest for recovery led him to a remarkable helmetthat could invade the psyches of sleeping foes, a device the newly anointed Coronal Prestimion later utilized to defeat his enemy Dantirya Sambail, tyrant of the continent Zimroel. In the fires of civil war, the terrible weapon was destroyed forever – or so it was believed.
The noxious weed of rebellion was torn out at its roots but its seeds have borne frightening fruit. Dantirya Sambail is dead, and the hungry jackals who ran at his heels now scheme to recover his lost lands and power. At their head is the tyrant's former henchman Mandralisca – a villain of great wiles and icy heart, who somehow has unleashed a devastating plague of the mind upon Prestimion's subjects, Dark visions are invading the sleep of those loyal to the Lords and the Lady of Majipoor – soul-shattering scenes of madness and monstrosity, driving those inflicted to commit horrible, destructive acts. And the dark wave is flowing ever-closer to the throne, seeping beneath the doors of the 30,000 rooms of the towering edifice atop Castle Mount... and into sacrosanct depths of the imperial Labyrinth itself.
A new campaign for the soul of Majipoor has been declared – and its catastrophic opening salvos have been fired in silence and in mystery. Once again Prestimion and Dekkeret have been called onto the battlefield of nightmare. But this time it will be a war to the death against a foe greater than all who came before: the master of murderous shadows who aspires to be King of all.