Garth the Overman and Korg the trusty warbeast are back in Skelleth, this time to try to establish a trade mission that could be of great importance to the inhabitants of the Northern Waste. Initially Korg and some of his relatives have great success, but Korg once again has a run in with the Baron of Skelleth. After their last conflict the Baron would like nothing better than Garth's head, but seeing some opportunity, he instead insists that Garth swear fealty in return for trading rights. Anyone who knpws overmen will tell you that isn't going to work. Garth, furious at the Baron's impertinence, sits down with the King in Yellow again and hammers out a deal.
The King wants whatever Garth finds on the seven altars of Dussara and promises that carrying out that task will give Garth what he wants in Skelleth in the process. Even Garth has figured out that deals with the King in Yellow always have a hitch to them - and proceeds cautiously. This time the trip is less harrowing with only one village on that way, one with an annoying prophecy. Soon Garth is in the night city of Dusarra, planning his thefts.
Seven alters with gems, potential victims and, yes, even dust, are all that lie between Garth and victory over the Baron of Skelleth. For Garth, who has teetered on the edge of crisis since leaving the northern wastes, they are seven opportunities for disaster and there is more than a little question about whether either Garth of Dusarra will survive.
This is the second volume is a series that will eventually be referred to as 'The Lords of Dus.' Watt-Evans shows a surer footing in this telling about the Prince of a magically created people who have been exiled for 350 years to the northern wastes. Garth wants to make a difference in his world, but it not entirely clear on how to go about it. His adventures in the first volume lead him to return to the world below and Watt-Evans has created a second, light-hearted, story that under line the problems that can occur when cultures clash in unexpected places.
Watt-Evan's writes well, although he tends to over engineer his action, and relies too much on descriptive passages to fill out his book. Since The Seven Altars of Dusarra is short, it never really bogs down. But every once in a while there is a hitch, as when the author spends too much time describing which hand he moves what object too while trying to do two things at once. Don't let that put you off though, this is a classic series, which is mostly for fun and the intriguing device of having an 'alien' creature as a main character. This is classic fantasy, with a twist.