I enjoyed this book in the series because it let me see inside Haplo more than any of the others. This is the book where real changes were happening to him...where he finally was letting go of his hatred of the dreaded Sartan enemy that had forced his people into the Labyrinth. Here he found Sartan AND Patryns living and fighting the Labyrinth together, a startling revelation for Haplo and me both! Here gentle, sweet, bumbling Alfred found courage, letting go of the guilt that had plagued him since he had awoken from his deep sleep.
Here, too, we meet up again with the giant serpents that saw a real opportunity in closing off and trapping everyone within the Labyrinth, forever feeding on the fear, hatred and hopeless that the Labyrinth pounded into its victims.
Xar, Haplo's mentor and "father", had already been convinced by lies that Haplo was a trader which was just what the serpents wanted...a divided people meant a weakened army and an easier foe to conquer on the battlefield. From here on the book focuses on the war with the serpents and Xar's belated realization that he has been fooled.