Treacheries, trickeries, assassination attempts and bloody family intrigues have finally maneuvered Merlin, aka Merle Corey, into the Courts of Chaos — where he is third in line to occupy the throne, thanks to a series of conventionally fatal "accidents" engineered by his mother Dara and uncle Mandor. But Merlin’s journey to the ultimate rule will not be easy. For dark enchantments still await him. There is murderous discord between Amber and Chaos to be silenced. And a captive royal father, long believed dead, must first be freed from a villain’s magic before a beleaguered Prince can deem his triumph complete.
Following the cliffhanger ending of Blood of Amber, Merlin is stranded in surrealistic Alice in Wonderland-esque bar where the Mad Hatter serves cocktails. Managing to escape, Merlin meets new family members--one of whom is intent on killing him. As events escalates, Merlin finds himself surrounded by his worst enemies including his ex-girlfriend--back from the dead.
Pursued by a fiendish enemy, Merle must battle through an intricate web of vengeance and murder that threatens more than the San Francisco Bay area. For Merle Corey of California is also Merlin, son of Corwin, vanished Prince of Amber; and the forces, seeking to destroy the royal house, have unleashed sorceries that can strike anywhere, especially at the very heart of Amber.