On the gigantic planet Majipoor it is a time of ancient mysteries and new wonders. The aged Pontifex Prankipin is at last near death. Omens are seen, prodigies are born – even the sea dragons have been glimpsed from the cliffs. Surely some great change is at hand!
The Coronal Lord Confalume will succeed him as Pontifex, and it is no secret that the next Coronal will be Prince Prestimion of Muldemar – for, by law and custom, the blood son of the present Coronal cannot rule. Besides, everyone knows that they young Korsibar much prefers the pleasures of the hunt to the intrigues of court.
They cannot know this hunter has found a new quarry – the Starburst Crown. For, when Korsibar is visited by an oracle, the two-headed Su-Suheris whispers words that plunge the planet into a fearsome conflagration and engulf its myriad races in a war to alter destiny itself.