Once there was a land with five evil kings, and each king had an evil queen. These were the King and Queen of Quills, of Wheels, of Spires, of Rings. Most powerful wicked and feared of all were the King and Queen of Swords . . .
That was long ago, and now the King and Queen of Swords are only painted faces on playing cards, flicking across the green baize of gaming tables. Or are they?
For Jemany Vexing, true prince of Ejland and Key to the Orokon, keeps hearing their names, in song and in story, as he sets out on the second stage of his quest, seeking the long-lost mythic crystals of the gods.
On the run and lying low, disguised as a wandering Vaga-player, Jem is making for the great southern city of Agondon, where he hopes the mysterious guardian promised to him by the enigmatic harlequin will guide him to the green Crystal of Viana. But Lord Empster is not all he appears.