A young hero finds a mighty, magic sword and goes out into the greater world to defeat a great evil. Since this is a Glen Cook book, the fate of the hero is to be controlled by the sword, often forced to kill those he loves. Also the awakening of the sword has awakened others, old evils, their fates intertwined with the sword, their playground the whole world and its people as pawns in this deadly game.
I like the world building and some of the ideas, like the speaking demon head, but the book has one main flaw, the writing is very dense and at times nearly impenetrable. Also Gathrid, the main character, was a little too bland for my taste. The book, while bringing the main plot of the book to an end, doesn’t solve some of the bigger questions about the world, thus making it inconvenient that there hasn’t ever been a sequel.