Magnus D'Armand, the renegade son of Rod Gallowglass, Warlock of Gramarye, has set out to prove himself twice the hero and liberator his father ever was. However, Magnus has inherited not only his father's awesome psychic gifts, but his uncanny knack for getting into trouble as well.
Bored and in search of excitement, Magnus D'Armand has asked his sentient starship to find him a world in need of revolution. But on the lost colony world of Petrach, he finds far more than he's bargained for. Not only is the merchant city of Pirogia's fledgling republic about to be wiped off the map by an alliance of nobles determined to maintain aristocratic rule, but the lords are backed by shadowy and powerful off-world organizations interfering with the planet for their own self-serving reasons. Even the Rogue Wizard will need a miracle to keep Pirogia alive and free against such odds!
This volume kicks off a new series dedicated to the travels of Magnus d'Armand, who is rebelling against his famous father, Rod Gallowglass, hero of several Stasheff novels (The Warlock in Spite of Himself). Magnus, under the alias of Gar Pike, travels to the island of Pirogia on the planet Petrarch, which he wishes to convert into a democracy. There, he befriends Gianni Braccalese, the son of a leading merchant. Gianni's attempts to trade his father's goods with other lands are impeded by the Stiletto Company, mercenaries in the employ of one Prince Raginaldi. (At one point, to disguise themselves from marauding soldiers, Magnus (as Gar) suggests that he and Gianni call themselves Giorgio and Lenni-and does several riffs on rabbits, just in case the reader misses the point.) During his quest Magnus encounters several competing factions-with more than one originating off-world-to be overcome. But battle scenes are either described after the fact or rendered in lackluster exposition, and too many familiar names are invoked (Vladimir; Estragon; Feste) but generally ill used. While this series may develop into something interesting, this first volume doesn't bode well.