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When High King Valen is slain by the usurper Arkov, his only son and heir is smuggled out of the capital and hidden on a remote island. It might take years, but young Reyer is groomed to recover the throne of Mithgar, with allies among all the forces of Light in the realm. Their enemies, both Arkov and an evil mage with his own agenda, ally themselves with foreign powers that worship the dark. VERDICT McKiernan (whose last Mithgar outing was 2008's City of Jade) comes from the Tolkien school of the geography-obsessed, and the "Mithgar" series is old-fashioned but packed with the details and lore that fans of high fantasy will find familiar and comforting. This one unfolds with no surprises, but the series has a loyal fan base that will enjoy a stand-alone tale in the world they love.