In this second book of The Malloreon, Garion and Ce'nedra continue the quest begun in Guardians of the West. In their party travel the immortal Belgarath the Sorcerer, his daughter Polgara the Sorceress, and the little Drasnian, Silk.
Garion knows that it is the mysterious figure Zandramas who is responsible for the abduction of his infant son, and he and his companions journey many miles and encounter many strange beings in their search for him.
Their way leads through the foul swamps of Nyissa, ruled over by the Snake-Queen, and on into the dark kingdom of the Murgos, where human sacrifices are still made to the dead god Torak. Further on, however, even beyond those forbidding lands, they must face the ultimate danger - not only to themselves but to all mankind...