Having survived the blackest betrayal and a near assassination, Merle Corey, aka Merlin, discovers he is third in line to occupy the throne of Chaos. However, his ascension is aided by a series of conveniently fatal "accidents" engineered by Dana, his mother, and his uncle Mandor. But Merlin's trials are far from over. Deadly plots and dark enchantments await Merlin on the road to ultimate rule. Yet, he has determined to triumph and silence the murderous discord between Amber and Chaos...for the moment, at least. And at the end of his visionary quest lies an unsettling destiny: his father, Corwin, who was long believed to be dead, had been secretly imprisoned by a villain's magic.