Hired to protect the castle of Yurt and its occupants (and create dinnertime entertainment), he soon finds he is in over his head trying to track down the source of an evil presence. Instead of suspecting first one person and then another as clues surface and the plot twists, Daimbert uncovers hardly any clues and continually suspects everybody and nobody. This is why it is only four stars and not five. Everybody has motive and secrets they won’t tell him, but at the same time everybody is too lovable to suspect. Of course, they have him so caught up in the celebratory mood at the castle that there isn’t much time to investigate.
While the character and his insecurities have great potential for comedy, there is no overt humor in the book. The workings of magic are described somewhat, adding to the book’s interest, as is the comparison and contrast of magic and religious faith. Daimbert’s friend and the only one he can fully confide in is the royal chaplain, despite the tension between the two of them. Ultimately, it is a book about the boundaries between the natural and the supernatural, and about good triumphing over evil.