Steven Taylor is an assistant bank manager in a quiet little Mid-West town; his roommate Mark Jenkins is a high school history teacher. Steven's bored with his job; the thought of going through all the accounts that haven't had a single transaction in the past 25 years sounds even more boring - until he discovers one old prospector left $17,000 in October 1870; it's now worth 6.3 million dollars. There's a safe deposit box too, 17C, that's never been opened in all those years.
And it would have remained closed if Steven hadn't been browsing through a Denver antique store: as well as a dresser for his sister, he found a new girlfriend, Hannah, the owner's daughter ... and, in a jar of oddments, the long-missing key to Idaho Springs Safety Deposit Box 17C.
And without that key, he'd never have found the tapestry that sucked him and Mark into the land of Rona in the strange new world of Eldarn, where they are immediately captured by a group of Ronan resistance fighters. Rona has been occupied by Malakasia for nearly a thousand Twinmoons. Now an evil tyrant rules the land, but he wants more: he wants the key that will open the path for an ancient evil to manifest once and for all.
And Steven and Mark need this same key if they are ever to get home to Idaho Springs ...
This hefty debut from the late Gordon (1944 2005) and his son-in-law Scott launches a sprawling fantasy trilogy with touches of effective horror. After a lengthy setup, timid bank manager Steven Taylor, athletic history teacher Mark Jenkins and law student Hannah Sorenson fall through a magical tapestry into a politically complex world under the dominion of body-hopping demonic sorcerer Nerak. Several independent subplots and an unwieldy supporting cast slowly draw together as Steven discovers his budding magical powers, Mark finds romance with a fierce resistance fighter and Hannah seeks a way home. Though somewhat unfocused in their plotting and often rehashing standard fantasy elements, Scott and Gordon keep the story moving entertainingly to the end, less a conclusion than a pause before the simultaneously released sequel.