It's snowing, and lying in bed finishing book 3 of The Mallorean sounded like a great idea this morning. Mind you, I should be shoveling the front walk instead of dealing with Demon Lord of Karanda, but...
Any rate, we pick up right where we left off, with the current party being captured by the Mallorean Army and being taken to Zakath.
Who turns out not to be a bad sort, if you like mildly tyrannical rulers with a human side.
Seems his entire motivation for being in Cthol Murgos is to wipe the line of Taur Urgas from the face of the planet. Given Urgit, the current king, is only half Murgo, and Urgas was not the father, this complicates Zakath's plans a bit. However, the Mallorean Gromlims are in revolt and raising demons in the middle eastern part of the continent, Zakath is forced to return to Mal Zeth to try to retain control of the Empire. Which is composed of the Mallorean Agnaraks, the Melcene Empire, the Dals, and the Karands. The Melcenes are bureaucrats, the Karands are converted demon worshipers, the Dals are mystics, and the Agnaraks are Agnaraks.
Zandramas tries to possess Ce'Nedra, and that doesn't end well. Someone tries to poison Zakath, and they save him. Zakath won't let the party leave until his army returns, prompting an escape amidst a plague that overtakes Mal Zeth.
From there, it's off to Ashaba with the jester Feldegast joining the procession. We find out the identity of the demon lord Mengha, who's actually an old friend of the party. We find out what role Margravine Liselle (aka Velvet) is to play in the proceedings.
We also find out more about who Nahaz is, why he's protecting Urvon, and why he wants the Sardion. And then the voyage East, where we leave off with the discovery of an underwater grotto where the Sardion once rested.
As silly and drawn out as the first two books were, this one gets the plot rolling quickly and gets us headed faster to The Place That Is No More.
What we know at the end:
-Nahaz the Demon Lord is driving the Disciple Urvon insane so he can be the bearer of the Sardion and Master of the Universe.
-Velvet hasn't been quite honest in why she joined up with the party, regardless of the role of prophecy.
-Beldin the dwarf likes resurrecting antique dialects just to annoy Belgarath.
-Cyradis the seer now travels in the flesh with the party.
-Poledra is evidently a bigger part of this.