Dean's new novel concerns a village of small farmers and wizards in which simple magic is for children. "Psycho-magic" is the adult business. The real theme involves an almost Confucian rectification of names, replete with much dialogue about what makes A itself instead of B. The tone is genuinely whimsical, neither frivolous nor ponderous, and there is a basic plot, too, about how to keep wolves away from the sheep. Like much of Dean's work, this book is so understated and so comparatively slowly paced that it offers cerebral pleasures very different from those of more action-oriented fantasy. Like Dean's other works, however, it is unlikely to lack readers.