This is the fourth book of the Orokon pentalogy (after The Harlequin’s Dance, The King and Queen of Swords and Sultan of the Moon and Stars, and before Empress of the Endless Dream).
After leaving Unang-Lia on a flying carpet, Jem, Raj, Littler and the dog Rainbow crash on the volcanic Wenayan island of Aroc, where they are taken prisoners by Uchy and Ojo, two youths who are passing their Manhood Trial in the jungle.
Soon they learn that strange things have been going on on Aroc: a young man named Leki has gone mad and several others have mysteriously died. Moreover, the volcano is constantly rumbling, and Inorchis, their home island across the bay, has vanished!
On the island of Hora, the Triarch is dying and needs to marry his daughter Selinda to one of the candidates to his succession. Lord Glond or Prince Lepato? He has to choose carefully and find out who will be… the loser. Indeed, he wants to spare his daughter the burden he’s had to bear his whole life. But for Selinda, either choice is a poor one, as she’s just fallen in love with Maius Eneo, the handsome castaway she, her nanny Ra Fanana and her eunuch servant Tagan have found on the beach.
Meanwhile, wooden-legged Captain Porlo is also sailing to Wenaya on the Catayane, a treasure map in his hand. While searching for the fourth Crystal of the Oronkon (the blue one, belonging to Javander, goddess of the seas) Jem and Raj make new friends, row on a galley, fly to a floating island inside a vortex, fight a giant spider and even meet the legendary Robander Selsoe, a famous castaway… In short, this volume is full of adventure and entertaining from start to finish, it’s my favourite of the series so far.