After the Gorgorian barbarians conquer the civilized kingdom of Hydrangea, their leader Gudge makes himself king, marries Hydrangean Princess Artemisia and settles down to a highly satisfactory life of drinking and debauchery. Royal triplets, separated at birth because of a Gorgorian superstition that multiple births suggest the mother's infidelity, receive very different upbringings. The only girl, Avena, is brought up in the palace as Prince Arbol, heir to the throne and a fearsome swordsman. One brother, Wulfrith, is raised by a shepherd; although a young ewe is his favorite companion, his size makes him a fearsome battler. The other brother, Dunwin, reared by the outlawed wizard Clootie, develops into a talented magician.War and wizardry, dark deeds and derring-do, matters of state and matters of the heart, and a dragon who thinks she's a sheep. . . . This modern fantasy is the ultimate saga of flashing swords, high magic, and hopeless dynamic confusion - an event fans of the genre will not want to miss.